116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
School shooting: Iowa’s U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley is calling for expanding the Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center with a greater focus on school violence prevention.
“We've got to keep our schools safe. We can't waste another day,” the Iowa Republican told reporters Wednesday.
Grassley made his remarks in response to an 18-year-old gunman barricading himself in a Uvalde, Texas, classroom and killing 19 children and two teachers.
Legislative session adjourns: Another momentous session of the Iowa Legislature concluded early Wednesday, ending a five-month assembly that will be remembered for a $1.9 billion state income tax cut and the banning of transgender girls from playing girls’ sports.
The session also will be remembered for what did not happen: For a second consecutive year, Gov. Kim Reynolds’ proposal for taxpayer-funded private school tuition assistance stalled; and after some Republican threats to jail teachers over library books and classroom curriculum, majority Republicans did not pass so-called school transparency legislation.
Liz Mathis campaign: Republicans criticized Democratic congressional candidate Liz Mathis for previously describing herself as co-owner of a small marketing business, as the company refutes the claim. Mathis, a state senator from Hiawatha, is running for U.S. House in Eastern Iowa’s new 2nd District. She is the only Democrat in the campaign, and will face Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson this fall.
They said …
“How many gunshot corpses does it take for you to vote for responsible firearm ownership legislation? The voters are waiting for a number …” — Democratic candidate Mike Franken to Sen. Chuck Grassley on social media in response to the Texas school shooting.
“When it comes to the school choice bill the governor proposed, it doesn’t look like we’re going to be able to put the votes together in the House this year to pass that. Obviously, we want to continue to work with the governor to get something achieved. That’s been a big priority of hers moving toward next session, and we’ll work on that in the off-season.” — Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, R — New Hartford, on the school voucher bill failing in the House.
Odds and ends
Amazon delay: A massive Amazon fulfillment center under construction in Davenport will open two years later than expected. Amazon spokesperson Caitlin Polochak wrote in an email that the five-story, fulfillment center “is now anticipated to launch in 2024.” The center originally was slated to open in September and add 1,000 jobs to the local economy.
Hunting change: Deer hunters would be able to use semi-automatic rifles during a newly created antlerless season in January under a bill approved by lawmakers Tuesday and sent to the governor.
Reynolds sidesteps GOP incumbents: In the June 7 Republican primary, state Rep. Dennis Bush, R-Cherokee, will not have the support of Gov. Kim Reynolds. On Wednesday, Reynolds announced that she'd endorsed Zach Dieken of Granville, who is one of three GOP candidates in the Iowa House District 5 race.
Chemical testing: The state’s next phase of testing drinking water for “forever chemicals” will include more than 30 cities — including Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha and Iowa City — and more than a dozen large businesses that have their own wells, according to a list obtained by the Iowa Capital Dispatch.
More in the news
No answers one year later: One year has passed since Xavior Harrelson went missing in Montezuma just before his 11th birthday. Family and community members continue to grieve after his body was found months later in a soybean field north of town — with still no word from investigators how he died.
Hearing set in Fairfield case: A judge has set a hearing in July on a motion to move the trial of one of two Fairfield teens accused of killing a high school Spanish teacher out of Jefferson County because of pretrial publicity and to suppress several pieces of evidence and his statements to police at trial.
Trial set in nightclub shooting: A March 28 trial date has been set for one of the two men accused in the April 10 shootings at the Taboo Nightclub and Lounge in Cedar Rapids that killed two people and injured 10. Timothy Rush, 32, of Cedar Rapids, has pleaded not guilty to 15 charges, including second-degree murder.