VIRUS OUTBREAK-LIMITING LAWSUITS-IOWA
Iowa House pushes coronavirus lawsuit protection bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Republican lawmakers Wednesday proposed a bill that would offer broad protection from coronavirus lawsuits for doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, meatpacking plants, restaurants and other businesses. The measure, which is retroactive to Jan. 1, was tacked onto a medical malpractice bill that previously had passed the Senate. Democratic Rep. Brian Meyer, a lawyer, opposed the bill, saying it protects corporations but not the people of Iowa. Similar efforts to curb what supporters consider frivolous lawsuits are underway in Congress and several other states.
Iowa Rep. King’s defeat marks moment of unity for GOP, Dems
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Rep. Steve King became a unifying force in American politics the longer he served in Congress. Republicans and Democrats alike were glad to see him go Tuesday, defeated in a GOP primary after nine terms in Congress representing Iowa. King’s political demise comes amid a reckoning moment for the United States as it confronts its long history of mistreatment of African Americans and a backlash against the nationalistic policies of President Donald Trump. The congressman’s defeat comes five months before Americans decide whether to reelect Trump, who in 2014 described King as “a smart person with really the right views on almost everything.”
Iowa Legislature returns for brief budget-focused session
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Legislature has returned to finish work left when the coronavirus pandemic surfaced in Iowa in March and prompted state officials to close the state Capitol. Lawmakers began work Wednesday and are expected to meet for at least two weeks to complete work on a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and address policy measures on which House and Senate leaders reach agreement. Temperatures will be checked at the door and masks will be provided. Meeting rules have been established to allow lawmakers to be at least 6 feet apart. Committee meetings and floor debates will be streamed on the internet.
Windows broken, 1 arrested as Iowa City protest gets violent
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in Iowa City say a peaceful demonstration against police brutality and the death of George Floyd turned violent when protesters broke windows at a county building and threw rocks and water bottles at officers. Protesters said that Johnson County sheriff’s deputies deployed pepper spray during Tuesday night clash, which occurred near the Johnson County Health and Human Services building. Police arrested University of Iowa student Sevad Duratovic, saying he was seen “stepping away from a broken window carrying a baseball bat” and then swinging at the window of a nearby vehicle. Duratovic denied Wednesday that he swung the bat or broke windows and says he was pepper sprayed while walking to a police vehicle.
Iowa voters oust Rep. King, shunned for insensitive remarks
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Longtime Rep. Steve King has been ousted in Iowa’s Republican primary after being ostracized by party leaders for comments about white nationalism. State Sen. Randy Feenstra won the five-way race Tuesday after he argued the nine-term conservative Republican had cost the district a voice in Congress by losing his committee assignments over comments in a 2018 New York Times story that seemed to defend white nationalism. King has a long record of incendiary comments about immigrants and white supremacy. Feenstra becomes the heavy favorite to win in the district, where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by roughly 60,000. He faces Democrat J.D. Schoulten, who lost by 2 percentage points to King in 2018.
AMERICA PROTESTS-NATIONAL GUARD-IOWA
Reynolds won’t say if she’d accept Trump’s offer of troops
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds declined to say whether there were circumstances under which she would seek President Donald Trump’s offer of military help to quell protests. Reynolds, a Republican and supporter of Trump, said at a news conference Tuesday that she relies on the advice of her public safety commissioner and other officials to ensure they have the ability to respond to protests. Reynolds said the soldiers haven’t been needed but could be quickly deployed. Reynolds declined to directly answer questions about Trump’s use of police to remove peaceful protesters Monday near the White House and his call for governors to take a similar approach in dealing with demonstrators.