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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
In the news
Teen’s death impetus for legislation: The Iowa House voted unanimously to make it a crime to fail to disclose the location of a body with the intent to conceal a crime. The impetus for the bill was the death of Noah Herring, 15, of Tiffin, in Coralville Lake in April 2020. Although three teens and an adult were present when Herring drowned, none of them called 911, and they withheld information about his disappearance, delaying the discovery of his body for four days.
Vaccine passports: The Iowa House approved legislation to ban “vaccine passports” that would require the disclosure of whether Iowans have received a COVID-19 vaccination. The bill would prohibit state and local governments from producing ID cards with information regarding whether the cardholder has received a COVID-19 vaccination.
Vaccine hesitancy: Iowa health officials said Tuesday that 80 of the state’s 99 counties declined some or all of their COVID-19 vaccine doses for next week, showing that demand for immunizations is dropping dramatically.
Broadband funding: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said she and top legislative leaders have agreed to invest $100 million in new state funding for initiatives that seek to expand broadband internet access to underserved areas of Iowa.
They said …
“I’m a big believer in perfect not being the enemy of the good. However, it doesn’t come close to perfect or really even good.”
— Rep. Jennifer Konfrst, on changes to the Iowa bottle bill
“Unfortunately, I don’t get everything I want.”
— Gov. Kim Reynolds, on the likely failure of her proposed E-15 fuel mandate
Odds and ends
Affordable housing: A Senate budget subcommittee unanimously approved two housing assistance initiatives designed to advance access to affordable housing for Iowans and provide relief during disasters.
Health budget: Iowa lawmakers are considering a $59 million increase in funding for health and human services for the coming fiscal year, once again pushing total state spending over the $2 billion mark for that budget.
Prison attack: A correctional officer at the Anamosa State Penitentiary was attacked by an inmate April 24 and received medical care for bruises. The attack came about one month after two prison employees were killed at a facility some call overcrowded and understaffed.
The water cooler
Road construction: The Iowa Department of Transportation is urging drivers to slow down and pay attention when traveling through work zones as the summer construction season gets underway.
Haley returns: Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will attend the Republican Party of Iowa’s summer fundraiser. Haley will attend the party’s Lincoln Dinner on June 24.
Child care: Following up on her executive order to create a task force to develop a child care strategy, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced two virtual town hall meetings on child care — May 6 for parents with children in care and June 1 for child care providers.
More in the news
Iowa holds onto 4 seats in Congress: It appears Iowa will hold onto its four U.S. House seats for at least another decade. The first results of the 2020 census released Monday confirm a dramatic shift in population, as Americans leave northern Rust Belt states in favor of sunnier climes where economic opportunity is more plentiful, according to the Census Bureau. Iowa’s population grew nearly 4.8 percent in the past decade, from 3,046,355 to 3,192,406, the Census Bureau said.
Threat defense: An Iowa man charged with leaving a threatening voicemail telling Gov. Kim Reynolds she should be “hung for treason” defended his comments as free speech, saying he was expressing opposition to COVID-19 restrictions.
Governor’s security: The state will pay $400,000 to design and build a wrought iron fence around the historic Des Moines mansion used as the residence for Gov. Kim Reynolds, and the fence will be installed soon around the Terrace Hill property, officials said.
Unemployment benefits: Iowans who lose their jobs would have to wait one week before they would start receiving unemployment benefits under a bill that won initial Iowa Senate approval despite complaints it would be a “kick in the teeth” for Iowans in crisis.