116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Hump day will be more like a valley when it comes to temperatures this week. According to the National Weather Service, there will be areas of frost in the Cedar Rapids area before 9 a.m. on Wednesday. Otherwise, it will be sunny, with a high near 62 degrees. On Wednesday night it will be mostly clear, with a low around 36 degrees.
Temperatures should rise back into the 70s by Friday and stick there through the weekend.
Iowa’s state budget has an unspent surplus of nearly $2 billion, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday — 54 percent higher than last year’s record-breaking level.
That surplus comes on top of the $8.1 billion of state funding expended in the budget year that ended June 30, and represents an increase of $670 million over the previous surplus, according to figures from the governor’s office and nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency.
The budget surplus growing to $1.91 billion could give cover for statehouse Republicans to enact even more state tax cuts during next year’s legislative session, should they retain control after this fall’s elections.
The tax cuts enacted this year — largely to state income taxes — eventually will result in $1.9 billion less in state tax revenue annually, compared with current rates. By 2026, a 3.9 percent “flat tax” rate will apply to all taxpayers, regardless of income.
A federal judge has struck down the third attempt by the Iowa Legislature to stop animal welfare groups from secretly filming livestock abuse.
According to reporting from the Associated Press, a judge’s decision on Monday rejected the law approved by Iowa lawmakers in April 2021 that makes it a crime to trespass on a property to place a camera to record or transmit images. The law, which had support from Republicans and some Democrats. made the first offense punishable by up to two years in prison and subsequent offenses a felony.
These laws, and others like them nationally, are usually labeled “ag gag” laws, as they are designed to protect farmers at the expense of the outside world knowing what they do on their farms. Farmers argue intruders could track disease into their farms and want to unfairly portray their livestock practices, while animal welfare groups say producers don't want the public to see how farm animals are treated.
Earlier lawsuits have resulted in courts striking down similar laws in North Carolina, Kansas, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming.
The Linn County Board of Supervisors will make its final allocation of $13 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding in October.
The applicants — among them not-for-profits and other local governments — have requested around $77 million.
The supervisors said Monday they would discuss the second round of funding at their Oct. 10 informal meeting, with the intention of making the allocation decisions at their Oct. 12 formal meeting.
The largest remaining request that has not been funded is from the Cedar Rapids Public Library. The library is asking for $6 million for a new west side library and opportunity center, to replace the Ladd Library, which is leased and situated in a strip mall at on Williams Boulevard.