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The Week in Iowa

The Week in Iowa

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UAW strike at John Deere

John Deere workers on the picket line at Waterloo Works cheer as passing motorists honk in support of their strike for better wages and benefits. The strike began at Deere factories in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas after contract negotiations failed to meet the 11:59 p.m. agreement deadline Wednesday.

IN THE NEWS

DEERE WORKERS GO ON STRIKE

Deere & Co. workers went on strike after union representatives did not come to a tentative agreement with Deere by the hard strike deadline of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. It was the first major strike by Deere workers since 1986. The strike affects workers in Illinois, Iowa and Kansas. Workers say the agriculture manufacturer is not offering adequate wage and benefit increases as the company enjoys record profits. Union members say they experienced mandatory overtime, an increasing workload and lack of support from managers.

CLIMATE REPORT: Iowans are vulnerable to power outages because of climate change, and must be prepared to pay higher electricity bills so power companies can harden infrastructure and bury power lines to protect against extreme weather, said the 2021 Iowa Climate Statement signed by more than 200 Iowa scientists.

SPECIAL SESSION: The Iowa Legislature will meet October 28 to consider a second plan for redistricting congressional and legislative boundaries. Republican Senators rejected the first plan, so the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency will deliver a second proposal to lawmakers by October 21.

VACCINE LEGISLATION: Gov. Kim Reynolds said she’s having “great conversations” with state legislative leaders about the potential for considering a bill during the upcoming special session that would prohibit workplace requirements for workers to get COVID-19 vaccinations.

THEY SAID …

“Every single day in the car, I cry.”

--- Tara Erpelding, whose daughter Charly is one of two Quad Cities-area homecoming queens living with cancer

“Wealthy Iowans work, too.”

--- Iowa Sen. Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, on whether Iowa Republicans want state income tax cuts specifically for middle-income workers, or for all

ODDS AND ENDS

MASK LAWSUIT: A federal judge extended an order that will prevent state officials from enforcing a law that prohibits school districts from implementing mask requirements until a federal lawsuit challenging the law can be heard.

CROP REPORT: Recent rainfall slowed fieldwork but Iowa farmers still have harvested nearly one-third of corn for grain and more than half of soybeans, according to the latest Iowa crop report.

CIO RESIGNS: Annette Dunn, the state’s chief information officer, has announced her resignation effective Oct. 22. She will pursue an opportunity in the private sector, according to Gov. Kim Reynolds.

THE WATER COOLER

SPECIAL ELECTION: Republican Jon Dunwell, a pastor and financial services representative from Newton, won the Iowa House District 29 special election. He replaces former Rep. Wes Breckenridge, D-Newton, who stepped down last month to take a state job.

COMPLAINT FILED: The Iowa Democratic Party asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ 2020 financial disclosure, saying the ophthalmologist representing Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District omitted information.

DISCLOSURES FILED: U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Des Moines, filed financial disclosure statements whose absence came to light in a recent government watchdog report, a spokesman for her office said.

IN THE NEWS

TRUMP IN IOWA RAILS ON ELECTION

President Joe Biden and Democrats, the Democrats’ federal budget proposal, the media, even Mitch McConnell and congressional Republicans, and of course the 2020 presidential election results --- all were targets of former President Donald Trump’s ire during a rally attended by a tens of thousands at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. It was Trump’s first public appearance in Iowa since just before the 2020 election, which will further stoke questions about whether he plans to run for president again in 2024. He said nothing about a potential run during his remarks.

SPORTS BETTING: Iowa sports betting nearly doubled in September, with wagers exceeding $210 million, giving the state a half million-dollar payout. The surge was fueled, in part, by betting on the annual Cy-Hawk football game and a full slate of college and professional games.

FRANKEN RUNNING: Mike Franken, a Sioux City veteran and Democrat, announced his candidacy in Iowa’s 2022 U.S. Senate race. Franken, a retired three-star admiral in the U.S. Navy, also ran in the 2020 Democratic U.S. Senate primary.

KRAUSE RUNNING: Bob Krause of Burlington has announced he’s seeking the 2022 Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley. Krause, 71, is president of the Veterans National Recovery Center.

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