A roundup of state government and Capitol news items of interest:
NEW ETHICS BOARD LEADER: The six-member Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board has selected Cumming lawyer Mike Marshall to serve as the board’s next executive director and legal counsel.
He succeeds Megan Tooker, the executive director since December 2010, who is resigning in mid-December to pursue other career opportunities.
Marshall previously served as secretary of the Iowa Senate for 18 years. He is currently the chief of the Bureau of Professional Licensure at the state Department of Public Health.
Ethics board chairman James Albert, a professor of law at Drake University, said the board chose Marshall — who will be paid a starting annual salary of $97,460 — because of his reputation for bipartisanship and his many years of experience with the ethics and campaign laws the board enforces.
The board is an independent, non-partisan agency of government that enforces the state’s ethics laws that apply to elected officials and state employees as well as ensures that political campaigns in Iowa follow the law.
The executive director manages board staff, provides legal advice and investigates complaints.
PROPANE PROCLAMATION EXTENDED: Gov. Kim Reynolds extended two proclamations Tuesday relating to the transportation of grain and the hours of service for the delivery of propane.
The governor signed a proclamation extending her Sept. 30 proclamation to Dec. 13, allowing vehicles transporting corn, soybeans, hay, straw, silage and stover to be overweight (not exceeding 90,000 pounds gross weight) without a permit.
The action applies to loads transported on all highways in Iowa except the interstate. Trucks cannot exceed the maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds.
The governor also signed a proclamation extending until Dec. 14 her proclamation that temporarily suspended the hours crews and drivers can work while delivering propane.
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Early winter weather conditions, a late harvest and high demand for propane throughout the Midwest have resulted in low supplies of propane.
NEW PUBLIC SAFETY WEBSITE: Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Safety on Tuesday launched a new, redesigned website — dps.iowa.gov.
Officials say the improved site provides customers a more simplified and modern tool to access services, locate information, find career opportunities and connect with staff.
Other datapoints include criminal history record checks, fire safety training, licensing and permits, driving tips and forensic science guidelines.
The site features content and programs available to the public and law enforcement agencies through the six DPS divisions: the Iowa State Patrol, Division of Criminal Investigation, State Fire Marshal, Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, and Administrative Services.
The site also has information about the commissioner’s office, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, Fire Service Training Bureau, Professional Standards Bureau, Interoperability Communications Bureau and Strategic Communications Bureau.
JUDICIAL NOMINATING COMMISSIONS: Nominating petitions are now available for individuals who wish to fill district judicial nominating commissioner positions that become vacant Jan. 31.
To obtain a nominating petition or to receive more information about upcoming vacancies and the legal requirements to serve on a commission, candidates can visit the Iowa Judicial Nominating Commission website. (https://www.iowajnc.gov/district-commissions).
District judicial nominating commissions screen applicants and select nominees for district court judicial vacancies.
There is a nominating commission for each of Iowa’s 14 judicial districts.
Each district commission has 11 members — including a chairperson who is the most senior district court judge in the district, five members elected by lawyers, and five nonlawyer members appointed by the governor. Each commissioner, except the chair, serves a six-year term.
District nominating commissions provide the governor with a slate of two nominees from which to make an appointment to the district court.