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Capitol digest: Gavel in, same-sex marriage recognition, DOT logo

Capitol digest: Gavel in, same-sex marriage recognition, DOT logo

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DES MOINES | Leaders of the CCI Action Fund say hundreds of Iowans will converge on the state Capitol building Tuesday to challenge Gov. Terry Branstad’s “pro-corporate agenda.

CCI members plan to deliver a “progressive-populist” response to Branstad’s Condition of the State address.

The “People First Iowa: The Time Is Now” day of action will serve as a direct challenge to Branstad’s approach to state government, said Debbie Bunka, a CCI Action Fund member from Ames, who contended the GOP governor and “the corporate lobby are taking Iowa in the wrong direction.”

Gavel gift

In the spirit of bipartisanship, incoming House Minority Leader Mark Smith, D-Marshalltown, presented House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, with a block of hickory for the speaker to use as a receiver when he raps his gavel.

In presenting the gift from one woodworker to another, Smith explained hickory was appropriate because one of the founders of the Democratic Party, Andrew Jackson, was called “Old Hickory.”

“When you are angry with the Democrats, you may strike it with gusto,” Smith said, adding that “although there will be times when we disagree … let this block be a symbol of our friendship and willingness to work together in the months ahead.”

Same-sex marriage

The leader of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, on Monday called on Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller to recognize legal Utah marriages.

Although the Supreme Court put Utah’s same-sex marriages on hold through a stay, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said, the order did not invalidate marriages that were entered into.

“Since some 1,300 same-sex marriages in Utah were validly entered into at the time and Iowa law recognizes valid marriages in other states, Iowa law would recognize those marriages as valid,” Miller said in his statement.

DOT logo

Gov. Terry Branstad gave his seal of approval Monday to a new logo developed by the state Department of Transportation.

Branstad told reporters DOT Director Paul Trombino has found plenty of efficiencies and savings within in the transportation agency that he has no problem with the agency spending up to $100,000 over the next five years to put a new logo on all DOT signs, stationery and other items.

“I don’t think this is inappropriate,” the governor said.


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