Governor Reynolds Signs Bill Advocating Colleges and Universities Allow Free Speech For Conservative Groups
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s governor has signed a bill backed by conservative groups that requires public universities and community colleges to implement policies protecting free speech on campus.
The Des Moines Register reports that Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the legislation Wednesday mandating that the schools consider what changes they need to make to maintain the “fullest degree of intellectual freedom and free expression.”
President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week that ordered colleges to protect free speech or risk losing federal funding.
Conservative students and groups nationwide complain that their free speech rights have been restricted on liberal campuses in recent years, triggering a series of proposals from state legislators.
Chinese Student Is Expelled at the University of Iowa
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The University of Iowa has expelled a student from China for repeated academic misconduct for a second time after the first effort collapsed in court.
Court records show that business student Pengzhen Yin was notified of his expulsion earlier this month, just weeks before he is expected to graduate.
Yin has asked a judge to put the expulsion on hold, arguing that it is based on the same cheating incidents for which he was already expelled and reinstated .
Judge Karen Romano ruled in December that the university lacked proof that Yin plagiarized a paper. That allegation had prompted his expulsion because it was his third alleged violation of the business school’s honor code.
After that ruling, the lawyer for the Board of Regents asked Romano to reconsider newly obtained emails to university officials in which Yin admitted he didn’t write the paper in question.
Romano refused, saying the board was asking for a “do-over” after failing to bring forward critical evidence.
Iowa Senate Passes Birth Control Bill
(Des Moines) — The Iowa Senate has passed a bill that would let adult women in Iowa skip the requirement of a prescription and be able to buy birth control at the pharmacy counter. Republican Governor Kim Reynolds expressed support for this concept last fall and Senator Liz Mathis (MATH-is) — a
Democrat from Cedar Rapids — praised the senate’s bipartisan 42-to-six
“This is really quite a big day for the state of Iowa to do this,”
Mathis said. “…I’m not excluding men here, but I think women understand intimately the issues surrounding access to birth control.” Three first-term senators — all women — urged their colleagues to vote for the bill.
Republican Senator Carrie Koelker (KELL-ker) of Dyersville was one of them.
“As the mother of a daughter, I think that this is another layer
of options for our women in our state,” Koelker said. “It helps with family planning and unwanted pregnancies.” Chris Cournoyer (kuh-NOY-yer) of LeClaire — another Republican who was just elected to the senate last November — says the bill will give Iowa women access to affordable birth control.
“It is responsible,” she said. “It is under the supervision of a
pharmacist and it has been an established, proven method of birth control that has worked for women all across this country for many, many years.”
Republican Senator Tom Greene of Burlington, a retired pharmacist, says Iowa pharmacists have had six years of intense training about proper dosage levels and will recommend a women seek a doctor’s advice if there are any concerns.
“It behooves all of us to make sure that young women of today have access to proper care,” Green said. First-term Senator Claire Celsi (SELL- see) of Des Moines, a Democrat, voted for the bill, but expressed “deep reservations” about it, partly because
she had an adverse reaction to birth control.
“No offense to Senator Greene, but pharmacists are not doctors,”
Celsi said. “Pharmacists can refuse a woman birth control — did you know that? — if they’re ethically opposed to it.” First-term Republican Senator Mariannette Miller-Meeks, an eye doctor from Ottumwa who’s a former nurse AND the former director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, guided the bill through the senate. She urged her colleagues to trust women to make
“I’m going to rely upon my experience with women and caring for women,” she said, “that we’re intelligent, that we’re capable and we’re knowledgeable.” The bill now goes to the Republican-led House for consideration.
Winner of the Powerball Jackpot Has Yet To Step Forward
NEW BERLIN, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Lottery officials are identifying the retailer that sold the winning ticket in Wednesday’s $768 million Powerball drawing.
Lottery Director Cindy Polzin told reporters at a news conference
Thursday that a Speedway gas station in New Berlin in suburban Milwaukee sold the winning ticket. The station will receive $100,000 for selling the ticket.
If the winner opts for a cash payout instead of annuities, the prize is worth $477 million. Annuities would be paid out over 29 years.
Wisconsin Revenue Secretary Peter Barca says if the winner takes the cash option, the state would receive $38 million in tax revenue. He wasn’t sure how much tax revenue the state would collect each year if the winner takes annuities.
Residents of a Milwaukee suburb where the winning ticket for the estimated $768 million Powerball jackpot was sold say they’re happy the winner could be from their community.
New Berlin resident Jacqueline Walderyera said at a cafe Thursday that it’s “completely awesome” the ticket was sold in her city and that the news coincides with the opening day of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Keith Schroeder joked that he felt “like a total loser” because he
bought three tickets, but he’s happy that the person could be from the area.
The winner has not yet been identified. The person has 180 days to come forward.