TAYLOR – LEGISLATURE
Republicans will dominate the Senate Chamber with greater numbers as the result of the last election. State Senator Jeff Taylor of Sioux Center says Republican leadership in the chamber will take on property tax reform and school choice:
They will also craft a legislative response to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, striking down a federal right to abortion.
Taylor intends to introduce legislation protecting religious freedom for Iowans. Iowa lawmakers begin a new session Monday. Governor Kim Reynold’s condition of the state address is Tuesday, at which time she will express her legislative agenda for 2023.
BIRD SWORN IN
Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird is the first of five statewide officials elected in November to hold a public ceremony to recite their oath of office. Bird, who officially started her term on Monday, told a big crowd in the Capitol’s rotunda Thursday that she was just getting used to speaking about her new post in the present tense.
Bird is the first Republican in 44 years to serve as Iowa Attorney General. Republican Governor Kim Reynolds, who will be inaugurated for a new four year term next Friday, campaigned extensively for Bird. Reynolds says Bird is taking office at just the right moment — to challenge Biden Administration policies. The governor says Iowa’s new attorney general will fight federal mandates and open borders as well as what Reynolds called social engineering.
Earlier this week, Bird joined a lawsuit challenging President Biden’s plan to cancel some student loan debt as well as three other lawsuits challenging COVID-19 vaccine requirements.
More than 600 Iowa businesses and industry groups are now part of an initiative aimed at identifying and responding to human trafficking in the state. Iowa Businesses Against Trafficking was launched a year ago. Secretary of State Paul Pate says businesses that join the program are asked to help raise public awareness of trafficking or train workers to spot people who may be trafficking victims. Pate says the number of reported trafficking incidents in Iowa has risen, with nearly 300 contacts from Iowa in 2021. Those tips led to dozens of cases reaching law enforcement. Pate says anyone with information about possible human trafficking should call local police or the Iowa Victim Service Call Center at 1-800-770-1650.
An event is planned today called “Soiree with the Swans” in the southwest Iowa town of Atlantic, where up to a hundred graceful trumpeter swans are gathering on the open water. Lora Kanning, a naturalist with the Cass County Conservation Department, says the big birds congregate at Lake Number 4 in Atlantic’s Schildberg Recreation Area. Trumpeter swans were declared endangered in 1966. A reintroduction process was started in 1998 and today, the migration flies through Iowa. Atlantic is celebrating 23 years of the trumpeter swans wintering in the community. The Saturday event includes ten-minute talks about swans led by conservation staff every half hour from 11 AM to 2 PM. Visitors will be able to watch the birds through spotting scopes.