SENATE SHOUTOUTS: During her opening-day speech Monday in the Iowa Legislature, Senate Minority Leader Janet Petersen, D-Des Moines, paid tribute to two eastern Iowa Democrats who plan to retire after the 2018 session.
Sen. Bob Dvorsky, D-Coralville, was first elected to the Iowa House in 1986 and to the Senate in a special election in 1994.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank him for his service,” Petersen said.
“Second, I want to acknowledge Sen. Wally Horn of Cedar Rapids, who is returning to the Capitol today for his 46th and final year in the Iowa Legislature,” she said. “Congratulations, Wally, on making history as Iowa’s longest-continuously-serving state legislator ever.”
PEOPLE’S RESPONSE: A group of Iowans representing working families will offer a “People’s Condition of the State” at noon today in the first-floor Capitol rotunda.
Speakers will share their stories about how Gov. Kim Reynolds’ administration has affected them. They will call on all Iowans to fight back against further attacks on everyday Iowans during this legislative session.
Host organizations include AFSCME Council 61, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, Iowa State Education Association, Planned Parenthood Voters of Iowa, and Progress Iowa.
PATE HIRES DEPUTY: Secretary of State Paul Pate has hired longtime Cerro Gordo County Auditor Ken Kline to serve as Iowa’s deputy commissioner of elections.
In addition to more than 25 years in the auditor’s office, Kline is a past president of the Iowa State Association of County Auditors and creator of the national award-winning Precinct Atlas electronic poll book program. He served for many years as a legislative liaison for county auditors.
Kline will begin his new role Jan. 22. He succeeds Carol Olson, who will become state director for U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley.
HAZARDOUS WASTE LAWSUIT: Aaron Rochester of Sioux City and his companies are being sued by the Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
The Woodbury County District Court lawsuit alleges Rochester collected waste disposal fees and then illegally dumped and stored an estimated 12 million pounds of waste at licensed and unlicensed locations in Sioux City and Akron and 4.5 million pounds in South Sioux City, Nebraska.
The lawsuit also alleges that from 2013 to 2016, one of the companies submitted false reports to the state about its disposal activities.
It also alleges that Rochester and his former business owe the state more than $75,000 for a 2011 loan for equipment used to recycle electronic waste.
Miller’s lawsuit seeks unspecified civil penalties, a court-ordered removal of solid waste according to state environmental laws, a permanent injunction that prohibits future violations of certain state laws, and a judgment for the unpaid balance of the 2011 state loan.
COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSE APP: An interactive study guide to help Iowans interested in getting a commercial driver’s license was unveiled Monday by Gov. Kim Reynolds, the Iowa Department of Transportation and Don Egli, safety and security director at the Iowa Motor Truck Association.
The industry is facing a “very, very serious shortage” of drivers, and the app is another way to attract people to the industry, Egli said.
The app makes it more convenient for people to study for the written part of the test, said Reynolds, who administered tests when she was a county treasurer.
The Iowa CDL Testing App is available on mobile devices through iOS and Android app stores, as well as at iowadot.gov/mvd/driverslicense. It’s free to anyone with an Iowa driver’s license or ID card.
— Times Bureau