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Ban on local governments, schools and businesses asking for proof of COVID vaccination advances in the Iowa Legislature

The Iowa House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of a bill intended to prohibit so-called “vaccine passports” on Monday. The bill was introduced on Friday, two weeks after Gov. Kim Reynolds called for such legislation. “I strongly oppose vaccine passports and I believe that we must take a stand as a state against them, which […]

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HUD may sue Iowa if bill allowing landlords to discriminate against federal housing aid recipients is signed into law

The Iowa Senate passed a bill allowing landlords to discriminate against anyone receiving federal housing assistance on Wednesday. The Senate had previously passed the bill on a party-line vote, but Republicans in the Iowa House amended SF 252 (formerly SSB 1079) when it passed the bill on Monday, so the Senate had to approve the […]

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‘A denial of history’: Bill restricting racism and sexism discussions in diversity training passed by Iowa House

After more than four and a half hours of floor discussion on Tuesday night, the Iowa House of Representatives voted along party lines to approve a bill that imposes restrictions on diversity training offered by any state or local government agency and prohibits any instruction in public schools or universities on certain “divisive concepts” related […]

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Iowa House passes bill allowing landlords to discriminate against people receiving federal housing assistance

On Monday, the Iowa House of Representatives passed a bill already approved by the Senate, which would overturn ordinances in Iowa City, Marion and Des Moines that prevent landlords from discriminating against people who receive federal housing assistance. In addition to invalidating existing ordinances, SF 252 (formerly SSB 1079) would also prohibit any local government […]

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Bill to restrict discussion of ‘divisive concepts’ in schools, such as systematic racism and sexism, advances in state legislature

A bill that would restrict discussion of “divisive concepts” related to racism and sexism in Iowa schools and universities was passed by an Iowa House subcommittee on Monday. Both of the Republicans on the subcommittee voted for it, and the lone Democrat opposed it. HSB 258 would require that the instructor of any mandatory diversity […]

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UI now planning in-person commencement ceremonies after Republican lawmaker introduces bill that would mandate them

The University of Iowa has reversed its decision to hold only virtual commencement ceremonies for its spring 2021 graduates in an attempt to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and will hold in-person ceremonies. UI announced on Feb. 3 it would be holding a virtual ceremony. In its statement, the university acknowledged “how much [in-person] […]

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State Republicans pass bill to restrict early voting, voting by mail and voting on Election Day in Iowa

Just eight days after it was introduced in the Iowa Legislature, a bill that would make it harder to vote but easier to remove people from voting rolls, and creates new criminal liability for local election officials, received its final approval. On Wednesday night, the Republican-controlled Iowa House of Representatives sent the bill to Gov. […]

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‘It’s voter suppression’: Iowa Republicans target voting access, citing Trumpian election conspiracy theories

At least 33 state legislatures around the country, most of them controlled by Republicans, are working on bills that restrict voting. Iowa is one of them. “These bills are an unmistakable response to the unfounded and dangerous lies about fraud that followed the 2020 election,“ the Brennan Center for Justice said in a report on […]

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Eliminating tenure, identifying Democrats, controlling spending: Republican lawmakers seek to change Iowa’s universities

An effort by Republicans in the state legislature to eliminate tenure at Iowa’s three public universities advanced this week, as the House Education Committee passed a bill to end tenure at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa, and a Senate subcommittee approved the Senate version of that bill. […]

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