Friday News, October 18
Grassley Responds To Questions Regarding No Vote On Shutdown Measure
(Council Bluffs) -- Iowa Republican Senator, Chuck Grassley was one of 18 Senators to vote
against the measure late Wednesday night that ended the federal government shutdown and extended the government's borrowing authority.
During Grassley's weekly news conference, he told reporters, the Senate and Congress did not
actually resolve the major issue.
Grassley says a conference committee has been established between both chambers' budget
committees to bring about a resolution before the next deadline of January 15th. Grassley
says the budget conference committee has been assigned to look beyond the spending of 2014,
and to work out a reform deal involving the nation's entitlements, including social security, medicare, and medicaid.
Grassley was asked if he believes Congress will be able to find a resolution before the January 15th deadline, or will the nation again be faced with the midnight crisis on January 14th?
Grassley Says Too Much Work Needs To Be Done For Recess
(Council Bluffs) -- Speaking about Senator Grassley...the Iowa Republican told reporters he
is disappointed with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for calling for a week long recess.
Grassley says there is too much work that needs to be done, including the farm bill.
Grassley says the Senate is losing another week before getting these important bills to the President. As for the farm bill, Grassley says there has been a conference committee organized to negotiate the differences. He says the major obstacle is the amount of funding for nutritional assistance programs, like food stamps.
Blair Speaks At World Food Prize
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The discussion about hunger and poverty in developing nations
turned largely from the controversies of global warming and genetically modified crops and
focused on governments and their role in solving social ills.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says all the money in the world cannot help
nations unless they have basic capacity in the government to provide electricity, roads and
policies that allow farmers to make their own decisions.
He says change is occurring with a new generation of leaders in Africa and elsewhere.
They want to learn and incorporate new ideas about how to better grow food.
Blair appeared with philanthropist Howard Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren
Buffett, at the World Food Prize symposium in Des Moines to discuss ways to end poverty and
Study Says Iowans Need Help With Affordable Healthcare Plan
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A University of Iowa study says Iowans most eligible to buy
subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act are going to need help signing up.
The UI Public Policy Center study released Thursday said those individuals reported
being uncomfortable selecting health insurance plans through online exchanges and the
majority thought they would need "some or a lot of help."
The study says that population is also more concerned about the costs of health care
and more likely to have delayed their care in the last year. That means even after they sign
up, they will be looking for help from health care providers on how to use it.
The study was conducted for the Iowa Department of Public Health and based on surveys
returned by 498 people.
Scientists To Release Report Regarding Climate Change And Agriculture
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Several Iowa scientist are releasing a report on how they believe
climate change is affecting farmers.
A report "Iowa Climate Statement 2012: Climate Change Threatens Iowa Farms" will be
released Friday at Drake University.
Researchers and professors from Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, the
University of Northern Iowa, Drake, and Mount Mercy University will release the report.
The report looks at the extreme weather this year marked by the wettest spring on
record followed by the second-driest July through September ever.
The release of the report is part of the Iowa Climate Science Educators Forum, a
daylong meeting of science faculty, researchers and students from Iowa colleges and universities.
Police Chiefs Association Wants Recruits To Attend Cedar Rapids Academy
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Police chiefs are upset with the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy
Council's decision to bar outside agencies from sending recruits to train at the Cedar Rapids police academy.
Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman said Thursday that a recent council decision
barred seven recruits from Lisbon, Hiawatha and the Department of Corrections from attending
his department's academy, which started last month. Instead, those recruits have to go to
the ILEA academy in Johnston at a higher cost to become certified.
Jerman says the Cedar Rapids academy has been open to recruits from other agencies for
decades, which helps build relationships. He says he believes the ILEA council's August vote
was motivated by its funding concerns.
The Iowa Police Chiefs Association has voted to support legislation next year to
overturn the decision.
Supreme Court To Study Serious Crimes Committed By Teens
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court might not be done changing the criminal
justice system's approach to teenagers who commit serious crimes.
The court said Thursday that it would review three cases of inmates serving lengthy
prison terms for crimes they committed when they were seventeen. In each case, the offenders
argue their lengthy sentences amount to cruel and unusual punishment.
They include a man who was sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of 17 years for
first-degree robbery; a man serving a life sentence for convictions of second-degree murder
and other charges in 1994; and a man sentenced to at least 7 years for second-degree
The court in August opened the door to shorter sentences for three dozen killers who
were juveniles when they were sentenced to life in prison.
Commission To Study How Regents Allocate Funds To State Universities
URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) - A task force appointed to review how funds are distributed to Iowa's three public universities is meeting for the first time.
The group, chaired by former Iowa regent David Miles, will meet Friday in Urbandale at
the Board of Regents office.
Then-Board President Craig Lang created the group in April, directing it to examine how
general university funding is divided among the University of Iowa, Iowa State University
and the University of Northern Iowa.
He said the five-member group should consider whether the different needs and distinct
missions are being addressed by the current model and to identify metrics to review
The group is expected to hear a presentation from consultant Art Hauptman about
different state funding models for higher education and ideas for reforms.