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Tuesday Morning Read: Iowa Republicans pledge 'big, bold' agenda; new Iowa Medicaid director suggests private firms for complex cases; school board member asks for delay in facilities vote

Iowa Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer says the Pledge of Allegiance recited by her grandchildren after gaveling in the 2018 legislative session in the House chamber for the 2018 Iowa Legislative Session at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer says the Pledge of Allegiance recited by her grandchildren after gaveling in the 2018 legislative session in the House chamber for the 2018 Iowa Legislative Session at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

TODAY’S WEATHER — Mostly cloudy. High 37, low 32.

IOWA REPUBLICANS PLEDGE ‘BIG, BOLD’ AGENDA — Monday was a mix of optimism and criticism as lawmakers convened a 2018 session with Republican promises of tax relief and Democrats bemoaning inaction in fixing a budget “mess” and addressing costly sexual harassment concerns in the Statehouse. Read more: http://thegaz.co/2D9jcEE

NEW IOWA MEDICAID DIRECTOR SUGGESTS PRIVATE FIRMS FOR COMPLEX CASES — Iowa’s new Medicaid head said he would not close the door to adding a fourth managed-care organization to the state’s program. But he made it clear he did not want the state to continue to care for the Iowa’s most complex cases, who already have been moved from one insurance company to Iowa’s fee-for-service program. Read more: http://thegaz.co/2ElFq5C

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER ASKS FOR DELAY IN FACILITIES VOTE — At least one Cedar Rapids school board member has misgivings about the timing of a vote on a facilities plan that would close eight elementary schools and rebuild 10 others. Read more: http://thegaz.co/2Ep1qNl

IOWA’S MISERY HAS STATEWIDE COMPANY — Maybe this year’s Iowa gubernatorial candidates should promise exorcists for our state universities’ men’s basketball programs. What’s going on is what Dr. Hunter S. Thompson would have diagnosed as bad craziness. The men’s hoops teams of Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa have a combined 0-12 record in conference play. Read more: http://thegaz.co/2CTX6Z3

QUOTABLE“I hope they see these (poll) results and they see people want an investment in public services, even at the expense of their own bottom line.” Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa, referring to state legislators. Read more: http://thegaz.co/2EptcsR

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