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Report on sexual harassment in the Iowa State Senate Republican caucus says staffers fear retaliation if they speak up

The report that Iowa Senate President Bill Dix, R-Shell Rock, claimed clearly showed that the Senate Republican caucus no longer has a problem with sexual harassment was finally released on Friday, as most Iowans were busy with Black Friday shopping and Thanksgiving leftovers. The redacted two-page long report is light on details, but documents that staffers fear retaliation if they report problems and that problems go beyond staff and include the actions of Republican senators. […]

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Sen. Bill Dix changes his mind again about what Iowa Senate Republicans will do about sexual harassment

Iowa State Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix has reversed his position on what he will do to address sexual harassment and other workplace problems in the Senate Republican caucus. Again. Two weeks ago, Dix and Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer announced the State Senate and House would jointly hire a human resource manager for the legislature. Creating the HR position was a response to jury to award a former Senate Republican staffer $2,2 million, after finding the Senate Republican caucus violated laws against workplace sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation. […]

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Everything is fine, says GOP Sen. Bill Dix after jury decides Iowa Senate Republicans violated sexual harassment laws

After a Des Moines jury decided Iowa State Senate Republicans violated sexual harassment, discrimination and anti-retaliation laws, Senate Republican leader Bill Dix released a statement saying the jury was wrong and the caucus doesn’t have a problem. […]

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Iowa City fireworks complaints: a lot of noise, but little else

On Wednesday, Iowa City announced the city police department received 406 complaints about fireworks between June 1 and July 5, a massive increase from the 32 complaint calls the ICPD logged during the same period last year. But how many citations were actually issued? […]

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Iowa City Council passes moratorium on some rental and building permits

New rental and building permits for some areas of Iowa City will be put on hold following the passage of a six-and-a-half-month moratorium during a special meeting Thursday morning. The move comes in response to state legislation that eliminates local governments’ ability to place occupancy limits on the number of non-family members in rental units. […]

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Three programs for sexual and domestic violence survivors defunded

Three programs have been defunded among other cuts to services for individuals who have experienced sexual and domestic violence following the Iowa Legislature’s decision to decrease funding for victim services by 26 percent. Additional funding cuts at the federal level also contributed to the shortfall. […]

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With the legislative session closed, activists respond to the Iowa Legislature’s conservative turn

Gov. Terry Branstad heralded this year as “one of the most significant and productive sessions in our history.” And it certainly did produce a large volume of wide-ranging, impactful bills. But for some, those bills represented a sharp lurch to the right and an abrupt end to bipartisan Iowa politics. Among the measures that left Iowa organizations and activists gearing up for a fight are laws impacting women’s access to abortions, reducing union bargaining rights, expanding and protecting access to guns and decreased support for public education.

Some measures, including a 72-hour waiting period for abortions and restrictions on collective bargaining rights for public employees, have already been challenged in court. […]

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Medical cannabis bill advances in Iowa senate

A bill to expand access to medicinal cannabis in Iowa may be debated as soon as today. Senate File 506 has received bipartisan support and may pass in the senate. The ways and means committee, including Sen. Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City), voted 14 to 1 to move forward with the bill. […]

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Workers’ comp bill passes Iowa house, heads to senate

A bill that would change workers’ compensation laws in Iowa passed the Iowa house 55-88 Thursday, March 16, and is expected to be sent to the senate early next week. The legislation could lead to a decrease in workers’ compensation claims paid in this state. House File 518 passed on a near party-line vote, with […]

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