# COVID-19



Iowa Democratic Party's Disability Caucus endorses Dr. Glenn Hurst

Julie Russell-Steuart is a printmaker and activist who chairs the Iowa Democratic Party’s Disability Caucus.

Glenn Hurst is a rural doctor in the small southwestern Iowa town of Minden and a founding member of Indivisble Iowa, whose activism helped elect U.S. Representative Cindy Axne. He faces Abby Finkenauer and Mike Franken in the June 7 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

Dr. Hurst has earned our endorsement for his strong experience advocating for people with disabilities and because he is laser focused on improving the lives of the American people in crucial ways.

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Iowa lawmakers ban schools, day cares from requiring COVID-19 vaccines

Iowa Republican lawmakers gave anti-vaccine forces a parting gift on what may be the final day of the 2022 legislative session. On a party-line vote of 29 to 16, the Senate approved a ban on COVID-19 vaccination requirements for young children in day care or students at any level of education.

House members approved House File 2298 in February, and the bill made it through the Senate Judiciary Committee in time for the legislature’s second “funnel” deadline. It had languished on the “unfinished business” calendar for two months as House and Senate leaders negotiated behind the scenes on various unresolved issues.

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On an Australian travelogue and Iowa travesties

Herb Strentz contrasts charming Australia molehills with troubling American mountains.

While spending a month in Australia, I found some charming molehills. Sadly, though, the “molehills” did not provide needed diversion from the troubling mountains of discord and lies in Iowa public life.

Way back in 1989, in a PBS program, “The Truth About Lies,” Bill Moyers asked, “…can a nation die of too many lies?” A reprise of that program today might straightforwardly declare, “Our nation is dying of too many lies.”

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Tax Day 2022: The rich get richer while everyday Iowans struggle

Sue Dinsdale is the director of Iowa Citizen Action Network and leads the Health Care For America NOW campaign in Iowa.

Rising inflation and the escalating cost of everything from gas to houses made Tax Day 2022 more memorable for some Americans than in past years. Rising economic anxiety is bound to collide with middle class tax bills as families worry about the future and make plans to tighten their belts over the short-term. 

But the nation’s 700 billionaires face no such worries. Unlike the rest of us who struggled through the pandemic and are now trying to catch up in its aftermath, billionaires actually increased their wealth substantially during the last two years.

Yet, thanks to our skewed tax code, they won’t have to pay more in taxes like the rest of us do. 

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Pott Co residents deserve a say in spending pandemic funds

Linda Nelson is a retired school teacher of 37 years, a past president of the Iowa State Education Association, and a former member of the Iowa House.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. This familiar adage – like all of the good ones – rings true far too often in everyday life. We’ve all had experiences that make us shake our heads and think, “I should have known better.” 

Luckily, in Pottawattamie County, we do know better. In fact, if we act now, we have an opportunity to learn our lesson and stop the County Board of Supervisors from fooling us twice.

As you read this column, decisions about how to spend $9 million in second round American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds may very well be happening. If they aren’t, they’ll be happening soon. And it’s up to county residents to demand a say in how these funds are spent.

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Iowans facing big cuts to food assistance

Approximately 290,000 Iowans living in some 141,000 households will receive less food assistance beginning in April, due to Governor Kim Reynolds’ decision to declare the COVID-19 state of emergency over.

Leaders of area food pantries are expecting a surge in demand, as Iowans’ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will drop by at least $95 per household, and in some cases by more than 90 percent.

According to the Iowa Hunger Coalition, “The average SNAP benefit for individuals will drop from $2.65 per meal to an estimated $1.52 per meal. Total SNAP benefits issued in the state of Iowa will decrease by an estimated $29.5 million,” a 42.6 percent reduction.

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