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CEDAR RAPIDS — The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the dismissal of a Des Moines attorney’s complaint that Gov. Kim Reynolds’ campaign undervalued a flight she and her family took on a private plane in 2017.

The court agreed with a Polk County District Court decision that Gary Dickey did not demonstrate “a specific and injurious effect” affording him judicial review of an Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board’s dismissal of his complaint that the Reynolds campaign undervalued the fair market value of the flight.

The board considered Dickey’s complaint before deciding it was not “legally sufficient” because it did not provide facts that would establish a violation of Iowa Code. When Dickey sought judicial review, the board said he lacked standing to ask the court to review the matter. The court dismissed his motion, concluding Dickey was not a person “aggrieved or adversely affected” by the board’s final action as required by Iowa law.

In affirming the lower court decision, the appeals court agreed that Iowa law does not expressly authorize a person to seek judicial review if the board dismisses the person’s complaint.

Educators honored

Four Iowa educators have been named state finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

The two math finalists are Sharon Jaeschke of Southeast Valley High School in Gowrie and Stephanie Steines of Decorah High School.

The two science finalists are Bradley Jacobson of Des Moines Central Academy and Carol Reierson of the North Fayette Valley school district in Elgin.

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are the nation’s highest honors for kindergarten through 12th grade educators of math and science. Award recipients receive a paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend recognition events and pursue professional development opportunities, a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation and a certificate signed by the president.

DHS budget approvedThe Iowa Council on Human Services voted 5-0 Wednesday to approve a budget request seeking at least $148 million to support programs for vulnerable children, disabled and elderly Iowans next fiscal year.

If included in Gov. Kim Reynold’s budget request next January and approved by lawmakers during the 2020 session, it would mark the first time that yearly state DHS funding would top the $2 billion mark.

Overall, the request offered by the state Department of Human Services would provide $7.353 billion from federal, state and other sources to cover Medicaid, mental health, food assistance, child welfare and support and other services for nearly 1 million Iowans — or 32.5% of the state’s population.

DHS officials think they will receive nearly $5.347 billion in federal funding in fiscal 2021.

The state request for $2.006 billion (or 27.3% of overall human services spending) would boost current-year appropriations by $148.2 million, or about 8%.

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