Suscribe to Weekly Updates
* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

Iowa Supreme Court Overturns Same-Sex Marriage Ban; GOP Pushes for Amendment PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 03 April 2009 13:27

In a unanimous decision, the Iowa Supreme Court on Friday upheld a district-court decision legalizing same-sex marriages, giving Iowa three weeks before it joins Massachusetts and Connecticut as the only states in the nation that allow gays and lesbians to marry. Vermont could also soon replace its first-in-the-nation civil-unions law with one that allows same-sex marriage beginning in September.

"We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective," the opinion stated. "The legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of people from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification."

The case in question, Varnum v. Brien, was filed in December 2005 by Lambda Legal on behalf of six same-sex couples who sought to marry in Iowa. The lawsuit argues that constitutional rights to equal protection and due process make it unlawful to bar same-sex couples from marrying. A Polk County District Court judge in August 2007 ruled that it is unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples access to marriage; the Iowa Supreme Court upheld that ruling Friday.

Lawmakers Working on “Painful” 12-Percent Cut to State Government PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 27 March 2009 14:51

Mike GronstalThe Iowa legislature's budget subcommittees worked this week to craft budgets for various areas of state government that would cut an average of 12 percent after state revenue estimates were lowered by $269.9 million next fiscal year, making layoffs almost a certainty.

Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal called the decline in state revenues "the worst I've ever seen" in 27 years in the legislature and said everything is at risk of being cut.

"I wouldn't say there's anything off the table," said Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs). "These are incredibly challenging times. ... We will do, probably in some cases, across-the-board stuff. We will also make selective cuts."

Scott County Legislators on National Popular Vote, Income-Tax Deductibility PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 26 March 2009 08:55

The River Cities' Reader asked Iowa state legislators from Scott County to answer two questions related to the national popular vote and the deductibility of federal income-tax payments. The deadline to respond was five days after the questions were sent out. All four Republicans responded. Of the five Democrats, only Representative Elesha Gayman responded.

New Revenue Estimates Mean $1-Billion Shortfall, Layoffs PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 20 March 2009 15:57

More budget cuts are on the way in Iowa after the three-member Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) on Friday lowered estimates of state revenues by $129.7 million this fiscal year and $269.9 million next fiscal year.

"The economy continues to falter," said Holly Lyons, director of the Legislative Services Agency's fiscal services division. "We're witnessing more layoffs. We're witnessing reduced hours and furloughs. We may not even be halfway through this recession."

The lowered revenue estimates, combined with the $700-million budget gap the state already had for Fiscal Year 2010, make for a $1.1-billion gap between expenses and revenues over the next 15 months, according to Representative Scott Raecker (R-Urbandale), ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Iowa Unemployment Reaches 20-Year High PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 13 March 2009 16:06

The number of unemployed people in Iowa increased to 80,600 in January, surpassing the 80,000 mark for the first time since September 1987, Iowa Workforce Development announced this week. That's up from 73,700 in December, and 64,900 a year ago.

Elisabeth Buck"Jobless claims remain very elevated, and continue to point to large payroll losses," said Elisabeth Buck, director of Iowa Workforce Development. "The major share of Iowa's job losses since January 2008 occurred during the final four months of the year."

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 4.8 percent in January, up from December's revised rate of 4.4 percent and last year's rate of 3.9 percent. The total number of working Iowans dropped to 1,592,100 in January from 1,602,900 in December.

<< Start < Prev 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Next > End >>

Page 30 of 36