Republicans have underfunded Iowa's State Hygienic Lab for years

Staff at Iowa’s State Hygienic Laboratory have been working around the clock to process tests that reveal the scope of the novel coronavirus epidemic. Governor Kim Reynolds has often lauded their “yeoman’s work” at her daily news conferences.

But as former Vice President Joe Biden famously said, “Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” In real terms, state support for a facility critical to Iowa’s COVID-19 response dropped considerably over the last decade.

The Iowa legislature hasn’t increased dollars allocated to the State Hygienic Lab since 2013, when Senate Democrats insisted on doing so. Not only has state funding failed to keep up with inflation since then, the laboratory’s annual appropriation has yet to recover from a mid-year budget cut in 2018.

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Court strikes down Iowa law denying sex ed funding to Planned Parenthood

Iowa Republicans were too clever by half when they slipped language targeting Planned Parenthood into a budget bill last year. Instead of prohibiting state agencies from awarding sex education grants to all entities that provide abortions, GOP lawmakers wrote an exception into the law so that UnityPoint facilities could remain eligible for the funding.

For that reason, a Polk County District Court determined this week that the prohibition violated the Iowa Constitution’s equal protection guarantee.

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Liz Bennett facing fake Democrat in Iowa House district 65 primary

A Republican would have no prayer of winning Iowa House district 65. Two-thirds of the voters in this part of Cedar Rapids (map enclosed below) supported President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012, and more than 61 percent backed Hillary Clinton in the last presidential election.

State Representative Liz Bennett defeated her last two Republican opponents, Harry Foster in 2016 and George Olmstead in 2018, by two to one margins. Fred Hubbell likewise more than doubled the vote for Governor Kim Reynolds in the House district 65 precincts. The area contains 9,265 active registered Democrats, 3,711 Republicans, and 5,848 no-party voters, according to the latest official figures.

No one is seeking the GOP nomination in House district 65 this year. Instead, lifelong conservative Foster is trying to sneak into the seat by masquerading as a Democrat.

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