State News Feed

Iowa board struggles with pipeline decision

The Iowa Utilities Board concluded its fourth day of deliberations Thursday without reaching a decision on a request for a state permit to construct the Bakken pipeline, which would transport North Dakota crude oil through 18 Iowa counties en route to an Illinois distribution hub.

Chairwoman Geri Huser said deliberations will resume Feb. 19, and the board has reserved March 9 and March 10 for additional meetings if necessary.


Iowa racial profiling bill unlikely to move forward

A bill that would ban racial profiling in Iowa likely won’t be discussed by lawmakers this year, a circumstance that Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad finds disappointing.

“What we’re talking about is life and death,” Abdul-Samad said Wednesday during a news conference at which NAACP members announced their legislative priorities. “We’re not talking about just a piece of legislation. … Racial profiling does happen. It happens in Iowa; it happens across this country.”


Iowa ‘death with dignity’ bill sparks emotional debate

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa adults diagnosed with a terminal illness could make a written request for self-administered medication they could use to end their lives under a bill that provoked an emotional debate Wednesday before an Iowa Senate subcommittee.

Senate File 2051, titled the “Iowa Death With Dignity Act,” would establish a medical process for a terminally ill patient to take his or her life. The person would need to be diagnosed by at least two physicians and have less than six months to live.


296 Iowa landowners decline Bakken pipeline

State utility regulators are wrestling with the fact that the owners of nearly 300 parcels of Iowa land have refused to voluntarily grant easements for the proposed Bakken oil pipeline, which would cross diagonally through 18 Iowa counties.

The Iowa Utilities Board met for nearly three hours Tuesday without reaching a decision on a request by Dakota Access LLC, for a state permit to build the 30-inch-diameter pipeline across 346 miles in Iowa. The board plans to resume deliberations Wednesday and is also scheduled to meet Thursday.


Iowa teacher pay ranks right in middle at No. 25 | The Gazette

DES MOINES — Average teacher salaries have increased, moving Iowa to 25th in national rankings, according to data contained in the annual Condition of Education report issued Thursday by the state Department of Education.

Salaries for Iowa’s 34,725 teachers increased by an average of 2.7 percent to $55,356 in the 2014-15 school year, the report indicated.


Iowa farmers brace for tough 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. — Many Iowa farmers are not expecting the agricultural economy to improve anytime soon, with a majority of those surveyed at the recent American Farm Bureau Federation conference preparing for a drop in income this year and many taking steps to conserve cash.

The dour forecast, which comes as farmers suffer a prolonged period of low commodity prices and stubbornly high input costs, has forced some in the Corn Belt to draw down cash reserves built up just a few years ago when corn and soybean prices and farm income hit record highs.


10 issues likely to spark debate in Iowa Legislature

The Iowa Legislature convenes Monday for its 2016 session with a battle looming over the $7 billion state budget, particularly state spending on kindergarten through 12th-grade schools.

The House and Senate will gavel in at 10 a.m. in the wake of a contentious and partisan session last year. Republican Gov. Terry Branstad's veto of $55.7 million in one-time spending for education left Democrats and some Republicans seething.