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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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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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Public hearing on water utility legislation drew a crowd

An overflow crowd packed a meeting room and hallway Monday morning at the Iowa State Capitol Building for a public hearing on a contentious water utilities bill that would impact the Des Moines Water Works. Speakers at the hearing raised the specter of the Flint, Michigan water crisis and argued that the legislation was payback for the water works’ water quality lawsuit against three rural counties. […]

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