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Capitol Digest: Governor will clear backlog of felons seeking vote
Capitol Digest

Capitol Digest: Governor will clear backlog of felons seeking vote

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The Iowa Capitol dome in Des Moines.

A roundup of legislative, Capitol and state government news items of interest for Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020.

FELON VOTER BACKLOG: Gov. Kim Reynolds said the backlog of felons who have completed their sentences and are applying to have their voting rights restored will be cleared in time for the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses.

Reynolds had pledged the backlog would be cleared in time for the first-in-the-nation caucuses. On Tuesday, she said her staff, state public safety commissioner Stephan Bayens, and his staff have worked diligently to make that happen. She said more than 300 applications have been processed this month.

“We are going to make it. We’re going to get it done,” Reynolds said. “We will meet the commitment that I made.”

Iowa is the only state in the country where felons who complete their sentences must then apply to the governor to have their voting rights restored. Reynolds has called for a constitutional amendment that would automatically restore voting rights once felons complete their sentences.

FUTURE READY WEBINAR: Iowa officials plan to launch a monthly webinar series this week covering a variety of topics about workforce development. The webinar from noon to 12:45 p.m. Friday will be geared toward employers and opportunities available with hiring returning citizens. Speakers include Kyle Horn, founder and director of America’s Job Honor Awards and advocate for the nation’s untapped workforce; Shelley Seitz, workforce and federal bonding program coordinator for Iowa Workforce Development; and Jennifer Seil, re-entry adviser at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville. The speakers will address typical employer questions when hiring returning citizens, the skilled training opportunities offered through the Iowa Department of Corrections, and the resources available to help connect employers with an underused talent pool.


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Majority Senate Republicans pushed ahead Monday with their plan to increase base state aid for K-12 public schools by 2.1 percent next fiscal year — a position that put them at odds with Gov. Kim Reynolds, House Republicans and legislative Democrats.

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