How shelter-in-place would improve on what Iowa's already doing

Governor Kim Reynolds announced more business closures on April 6, as the number of confirmed novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections climbed to 946. Cases have nearly doubled the total of 497 on March 31. Confirmed deaths (now 25) have more than doubled from eleven on April 3.

Establishments now shuttered in Iowa include enclosed shopping malls (but not stores that can be accessed from outside the mall), arcades, outdoor and indoor playgrounds, social halls, bowling alleys, tobacco or vape stores, movie stores, and campgrounds.

Though Reynolds repeatedly urged Iowans to stay home if possible, and said the ban on gatherings larger than ten people will be enforced, she again stopped short of issuing a mandatory shelter-in-place order.

Continue Reading...

Highlights, dog whistles from an Iowa Senate debate

Matt Chapman closely follows Iowa legislative affairs, especially bills like the one discussed here. -promoted by Laura Belin

Iowa Senate Republicans have approved another bill targeting people receiving public assistance, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Senate File 2272, which passed along party lines February 26, would require the state to contract for extra screening, looking for evidence of Iowans enrolled in more than one state. Labor and Business Relations Committee chair Jason Schultz introduced and floor-managed the bill. He has been attempting to pass versions of this legislation for years and sponsored five bills in a similar vein in 2019.

The vendor that would receive the contract, LexisNexis, does similar work in other states, often flagging 15 percent of beneficiaries as possibly fraudulent. In the five southern states that have adopted this screening, further checks have confirmed dual participation by just 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent of enrollees, on average.

Continue Reading...

Nate Boulton to face Libertarian ToyA Johnson in Iowa Senate district 16

Less than two years after ending his campaign for governor and facing widespread calls to resign from the legislature, State Senator Nate Boulton drew no Democratic primary challenger or Republican general election opponent in Iowa Senate district 16.

However, Libertarian ToyA Johnson submitted nominating papers to run in this district shortly before the March 13 filing deadline.

Continue Reading...

State Patrol must respect civil rights at Iowa Capitol

Iowa lawmakers have never enacted a “bathroom ban” targeting transgender people, but some State Patrol officers took it upon themselves to enforce that non-existent policy at the Capitol on March 12.

Security guards forced a large group of students to leave the building because some of the teens had used restrooms conforming to their gender identity.

Continue Reading...

Brad Zaun won't rule out 72-hour waiting period for treatment after miscarriages

Republican State Senator Brad Zaun has declined to clarify whether his proposed 72-hour waiting period for all abortions would also apply to people needing a common medical procedure after a miscarriage.

At a political forum in Grimes on February 21, Zaun told a constituent who asked about miscarriages that his bill calls for a “72-hour ultrasound before any abortion is performed.”

Continue Reading...
View More...