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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

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By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

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PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

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Senate Republicans push for biennial legislature

By Jason Hancock | 01.19.11 | 9:30 am

Gov. Terry Branstad repeatedly argued on the campaign trail for biennial budgeting, going so far as to promise to veto any budget that doesn’t span two years. Now, Republicans in the Iowa Senate want to take it a step further, drafting legislation that would amend the state constitution so that the legislature only meets every other year.

The bill — Senate Joint Resolution 1 — was introduced Tuesday and currently has seven Republican sponsors. If it passed this session, which is highly unlikely, it would then have to pass again in 2013 before going to the voters in 2014.

During the 19th century, when traveling was difficult, many states gravitated toward a biennial legislative system. As recently as 1940, only four states had legislatures that met every year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But as state budgets became more complicated and the federal government pushed more responsibilities onto the states, most legislatures switched to annual sessions. Today, only Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas hold session every other year.

Annual sessions diminish the need to call special sessions as problems arise, according to the NCSL. Also, the biennial format is unsuitable for dealing with the complex and continuing problems which confront today’s state governments. The responsibilities of a legislature have become so burdensome that they can no longer be discharged on an alternate-year basis.

The move would also make biennial budgeting a must, which research has shown leaves much to be desired.

Follow Jason Hancock on Twitter


Comments

  • http://twitter.com/annmarie47 Anita Lee Martin

    Good grief! If they didn’t want to WORK for the people of Iowa, why did they run for office? How do they plan to do the state’s business every other year, while the people who elected them work 6 days a week year round?
    This is a no brainer.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe we can just pay them every other year too!

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