State News Feed

State Board certifies Iowa election results

DES MOINES – It’s official. Republican Donald Trump outpolled Democrat Hillary Clinton by 147,314 votes in Iowa’s general-election balloting to claim the state’s six presidential electoral votes.

Four members of the Iowa Executive Council – acting as the state’s Board of Canvass – unanimously certified the Nov. 8 election results on Monday closing the books on a near-record turnout year that drew 1,581,371 absentee and Election-day participants.

“Iowans take elections seriously,” said Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, a council member who also serves as the state’s election commissioner. “They turned out, they voted and we had a good clean, open and honest election and we saw some real participation.”


Iowa business leaders want tax reform, common minimum wage | The Gazette

DES MOINES — Business leaders in Iowa’s largest cities calling for tax simplification and a statewide, uniform minimum wage got a sympathetic ear Thursday from two members of the new incoming GOP legislative majority.

Rep. Zack Nunn, R-Bondurant, and Sen. Dan Zumbach, R-Ryan, told Iowa Chamber Alliance members that reforming Iowa’s tax code and preempting local entities from setting minimum wage levels higher than the state level are issues they expect the Legislature to tackle when its session begins Jan. 9.


Rising traffic deaths worry Iowa officials | The Gazette

DES MOINES — Distractions, drinking and seat-belt dereliction are driving up the death toll on Iowa roadways.

State officials are eyeing strategies to reverse the uptick, including seeking legislation to take electronic devices out of drivers’ hands, toughen Iowa’s anti-texting law and beef up ways to deter drunken driving once GOP Gov. Terry Branstad and the Republican-led Legislature convene the 2017 session in January.


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Iowa lawmaker's 'suck it up, buttercup' bill targets protests

One Iowa lawmaker has a message for any state university that spends taxpayer dollars on grief counseling for students upset at the outcome of last week’s presidential election: “Suck it up, buttercup.”

“I’ve seen four or five schools in other states that are establishing ‘cry zones’ where they’re staffed by state grief counselors and kids can come cry out their sensitivity to the election results,” said Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton. “I find this whole hysteria to be incredibly annoying. People have the right to be hysterical … on their own time.”


Are changes to collective bargaining on the table in Iowa?

Republican lawmakers, holding firm control of the Iowa Legislature after last week's elections, could rewrite the state's collective bargaining law for public employees, which conservatives believe is tilted in favor of unions at taxpayers' expense.

Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican who has had a rocky relationship with government workers in the past, signaled when he returned to the Iowa Capitol in 2011 that he wanted state lawmakers to revise contract bargaining laws for public employees. But Branstad said last week it's too early to say whether he will propose changes in public employees' labor statutes during the 2017 legislative session, which convenes in January.


In Iowa, two political parties head in two directions

After Tuesday, Iowa’s two political parties are headed in two very different directions.

Republicans are ascendant, riding high on Election Day victories that cemented their control over virtually every office and institution necessary to govern in the state of Iowa.

They hold the governor’s office, the state House and Senate and five of Iowa’s six federal offices. They went all-in on Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, and he responded with a 10-point win in the state and an Electoral College victory.

Iowa Republicans’ task now is governing: How do they turn their vision into policy?

Democrats, by contrast, are in retreat. Their presidential candidate faltered in Iowa, they got smoked in a U.S. Senate race and they lost two congressional contests that appeared competitive and winnable. They saw their Iowa House majority shrink and — perhaps most consequentially — they were routed in the state Senate, ceding a long-held majority and losing their longtime leader.

For Iowa Democrats, the challenge ahead is political: How do they return to relevance?


Anti-Trump protesters march to Iowa Capitol

About 250 people gathered on the steps of the Iowa Capitol on Thursday night for a rally protesting the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency.

The group consisted of mostly students and people under 30 waving American and LGBTQ flags and signs with permanent marker and glitter-laden messages such as “Oppression is not an option,” “Love trumps hate” and “No hate, no fear.”

Leah Waller, a 20-year-old DMACC student, organized the rally. Boasting a Bernie Sanders shirt and a megaphone, Waller kicked off the event with a speech about making the people of Des Moines’ voices heard.

“We just really wanted to be able to take action,” Waller said. “We want to get the point across that Trump doesn’t represent us.”


Iowa's job numbers: What you need to know

As of September 2016, Iowa had added nearly 30,000 more positions since the same month last year.

Jobs numbers remain well above their recession-era lows: September 2016 figures represented an 8.5 percent increase since a recent low of 1,462,800 jobs in December 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.