Deidre DeJear made it official on August 14: she’s running for governor, “because Iowa is worth it.” The 2018 Democratic nominee for Iowa secretary of state spent several weeks on the road over the past month hearing about the challenges facing communities of all sizes. In a news release, she indicated education, small business development, and job growth would be the focus of her campaign:Continue Reading...
Marty Ryan covers a new law that received little attention early this year. -promoted by Laura Belin
A private sector employee from Iowa goes across the border on a Friday after work to Illinois. His friends offer a blunt, and he takes a hit. He thinks nothing of it, because recreational use of pot is legal in Illinois. On his way home on Sunday, he realizes that there could be a random drug test early in the week. He’s heard marijuana will stay in his system for up to 30 days, so he purchases a package of fake urine at a vape shop.
Monday morning, he is asked to take a drug test. He manages to get the fake urine into the beaker without anyone seeing him.
Days later, a lab result indicates that he may have used fake urine. Depending on a union contract, an employee handbook, or company policy that has been posted conspicuously, the employee may be disciplined, or in a severe case terminated. Now, he can also be arrested for a simple misdemeanor.Continue Reading...
The Iowa House opened its 2021 session on January 11 with 59 Republicans and 41 Democrats, a big improvement for the GOP from last year’s 53-47 split.
Six African Americans (Democrats Ako Abdul-Samad, Ruth Ann Gaines, Ras Smith, Phyllis Thede, and Ross Wilburn, and Republican Eddie Andrews) will serve in the legislature’s lower chamber. Republican Mark Cisneros is the first Latino elected to the Iowa legislature, and Republican Henry Stone is only the second Asian American to serve in the House. The other 92 state representatives are white.
Democrat Liz Bennett is the only out LGBTQ member of the Iowa House. To my knowledge, Abdul-Samad (who is Muslim) is the only lawmaker in either chamber to practice a religion other than Christianity.
I’ve posted details below on the Iowa House majority and minority leadership teams, along with all chairs, vice chairs, and members of standing House committees. Where relevant, I’ve noted changes since last year.
Fourth in a series interpreting the results of Iowa’s 2020 state and federal elections.
More people of color than ever ran for the Iowa House in 2020. As a result, a more diverse group of state representatives will be sworn in next year.
Not only will the state House have a record number of members who are not white, people of color serving in the Iowa legislature will include some Republicans for the first time since the 1960s.
Second in a series interpreting the results of Iowa’s 2020 state and federal elections.
The non-profit 50-50 in 2020 dissolved early this year after working for a decade to increase women’s representation in Iowa politics. Although our state has elected a woman governor, a woman to the U.S. Senate (twice), and will have women representing three of the the four Congressional districts for the next two years, we have a long way to go toward parity in the Iowa legislature.
When lawmakers convene in Des Moines in January, women will make up one-quarter of the Iowa Senate for the first time. However, the number of women serving in the House will drop below one-third of the chamber.
Democratic activists are highly motivated to take back the Iowa House majority, judging from the latest round of campaign finance reports for legislative candidates.
Iowa has never seen anything like this kind of fundraising for state House races.