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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
In the news
Tax cut: Most Iowa workers would pay a 3.9 percent state income tax — a large reduction for the state’s highest wage earners and a modest decrease for low-income workers — under a $1.9 billion tax cut passed by the Iowa House and Senate Thursday.
The new tax plan is the result of negotiations between Republican legislative leaders and Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds.
The Senate and House fast-tracked the legislation, giving Reynolds time to sign it into law before she appears on national television this week to deliver the Republican Party’s response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.
Democrats complained the tax cuts benefit the “ultrarich.”
Transgender sports ban: Iowa House Republicans on Monday approved a bill that prohibits transgender girls from participating in girls sports, moving the direction of about 10 other Republican-run state legislatures in passing the controversial measure.
Opponents say the measure is state-sanctioned bullying of transgender children, while supporters say it’s the only way to protect girls from being dominated in sports competition by males who identify as females.
The Iowa Senate has not yet voted on its slightly different version of the measure.
Challenging books in school: The procedures by which Iowa public schools consider complaints from parents about library books and other classroom materials may soon include state requirements.
Republican state lawmakers said they believe those procedures are not working as they should and that parents are complaining some of the materials are obscene.
They said ...
"(D)on't jump out a six-story window when you hear that some clown introduced a bill that's going to throw teachers in prisons for this or that, because I don't think that's going to go anywhere."
-- Bettendorf Republican state Rep. Gary Mohr, on "crazy" bills introduced by lawmakers that would impose criminal penalties on educators for providing "obscene material" or "hard-core pornography" to students in a classroom or school library
"This is not Iowa nice."
--- Davenport Democratic state Rep. Cindy Winckler, on the Iowa House-passed transgender athlete ban
Odds and ends
Cursive costs: A proposal that Iowa students be taught cursive writing by the end of third grade could cost school districts around the state more than a half-million dollars.
Spousal privilege: A proposal to require Iowans to testify against a spouse in cases involving threats by one spouse against the other or a third party passed the Iowa House, 93-0.
Fertility fraud: The Iowa House approved a bill to establish a crime of fourth-degree sexual abuse when a health care professional implants their own genetic material into a patient during fertility treatment without their consent.
Jeopardy! champion: Amy Schneider, the most successful woman to compete on Jeopardy!, will be the keynote speaker at the 17th Annual Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth on April 15.
Schneider, an American software engineer, is the first transgender contestant to make it to the show's Tournament of Champions, winning close to $1.4 million in a 40-game winning streak, the second-longest in the quiz show’s history, trailing only Ken Jennings' 74-game streak.
Ryder Cup: Two-time majors champion Zach Johnson, who was born in Iowa City and raised in Cedar Rapids, is taking over as Ryder Cup captain, leading an American side trying to end 30 years without a victory on European soil. Johnson, 45, has been an assistant captain each of the last two matches and played in five Ryder Cups.
More in the news
Strike continues: A labor strike that began earlier this month at a Davenport defense contractor supplier will continue into this week. The union -- International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District Lodge 6 -- said that Eaton Corp. won’t return to the bargaining table until March 1.
COVID-19 deaths: The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Iowa since March 2020 climbed past 9,000 last week, even as hospitalizations and the number of new cases continued to decrease in the state. Iowa's overall death rate, at 283 deaths per 100,000 people, ranks 30th in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.