State News Feed

Iowa considering stricter offense for texting and driving

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – Preliminary crash number for 2016 shows more than one thousand crashes in Iowa were the result of drivers distracted by the use of an electronic device.

The Iowa senate is currently looking at stricter texting and driving laws for adults. Under current law it is only a secondary offense. This mean a driver cannot be pulled over for texting and driving alone.  A driver must first be pulled over for something like speeding.

via kwqc.com


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Iowa legislative session begins with GOP vows of change, Democrats’ promise to fight

DES MOINES (AP) — Republican leaders on Monday kicked off the new session of the Iowa Legislature with a promise to make major changes to the workings of state government, though the party with new majorities in both chambers remained mum about specific details on plans to cut taxes, restrict abortion and limit the ability of public workers to bargain for health insurance.

Separately, a newly announced bill that would require Iowa voters to show identification at election booths received criticism from university students who argued that it would disenfranchise them because it prohibits them from using school-issued IDs to vote.

via www.omaha.com


23 Iowa election fraud cases in five years, data shows |

CEDAR RAPIDS — While Iowa law enforcement agencies have investigated hundreds of potential cases of election misconduct, only 23 people were convicted in the last five years, according to state data.

Of the 23 convictions from 2012 through 2016, 15 were for felony charges of election misconduct and eight were for misdemeanors, the Judicial Branch’s Iowa Court Information System by the Criminal & Juvenile Justice division of the Iowa Department of Civil Rights.

via wcfcourier.com


Iowa Legislature likely to have minimum wage debate – or two

CEDAR RAPIDS – It’s all but certain the Iowa Legislature will have a minimum wage debate this year. Maybe two.

Republicans, who will control state government when the Legislature convenes Jan. 9, don’t like the “hodge-podge” of minimum wages being set by county boards in Linn, Polk, Wapello and Johnson counties. That means there will be attempts to pre-empt local governments from setting their own minimum wage rates.

What’s less clear is whether GOP lawmakers also will raise the state’s 10-year-old $7.25-an-hour minimum wage.

via wcfcourier.com


Iowa Legislature likely to have minimum wage debate – or two

CEDAR RAPIDS – It’s all but certain the Iowa Legislature will have a minimum wage debate this year. Maybe two.

Republicans, who will control state government when the Legislature convenes Jan. 9, don’t like the “hodge-podge” of minimum wages being set by county boards in Linn, Polk, Wapello and Johnson counties. That means there will be attempts to pre-empt local governments from setting their own minimum wage rates.

What’s less clear is whether GOP lawmakers also will raise the state’s 10-year-old $7.25-an-hour minimum wage.

via wcfcourier.com


Ron Corbett tests his message around Iowa

WINTERSET, Iowa — When not presiding over City Council meetings or cutting ribbons at business openings, Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett has been quietly traveling the state speaking to community groups of 15 or 20 laying out his “big ideas for big challenges” facing Iowa.

Corbett, 56, so far has spoken in 55 counties, including to 60 Rotary Clubs as well as Chambers of Commerce, Farm Bureau chapters and one-on-ones with community influencers while promoting his research-based positions, elevating his profile and raising money.

via www.hiawathaworldonline.com


Pipeline company to halt Iowa land restoration until spring

DES MOINES, Iowa —

The company building an oil pipeline across four Midwestern states says it is halting land restoration work in Iowa until spring.

In a letter to the Iowa Utilities Board on Monday Dakota Access says it had hoped to be finished with land restoration over the completed pipeline in Iowa by Dec. 31 but a regulatory delay this spring and "several incidents of trespassers interfering with construction work" prevented it from finishing land restoration which is 80 percent done in Iowa.

The company says it plans now to complete the remaining restoration work next spring. The board Wednesday ordered interested parties to comment on the plan by Jan. 6.

The $3.8 billion pipeline is stalled while the developer and the Army clash in federal court over permission for the pipeline to cross under the Missouri River in North Dakota.

via www.kcci.com


Economic nationalism could hurt Iowa, economists warn | Iowa & The Midwest | globegazette.com

JOHNSTON | President-elect Donald Trump’s “America first” economic nationalism scored well with voters, but may not play well with international trading partners, much to the detriment of Iowa, according to economists who monitor the state’s economy.

The zero sum trade game — that is, the idea that when American wins there has to be a loser — that Trump seems to be advocating could hurt Iowa’s exports to China as well as to its North American and European trading partners, economists David Swenson of Iowa State University and the University of Iowa and Ernie Goss of Creighton University said Friday during taping of an upcoming Iowa Press program.

Goss compared Trump’s approach to trade to Brexit — Britain’s decision to leave the European Union — and similar populism in Europe, saying such “uber nationalism” is not good for the economy.

via globegazette.com