The Iowa Capitol dome in Des Moines.

DES MOINES — Iowa Workforce Development officials announced Wednesday the unemployment tax rate table will remain unchanged for 2020.

Tax rates will be the second-lowest allowed by law. Iowa law requires Iowa Workforce Development to establish the tax table, which determines the unemployment tax rate for eligible employers each year.

“The unemployment insurance tax rate for Iowa’s employers will remain in Table 7, the same table it has been since calendar year 2018,” said Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend. “Remaining in Table 7 for the third year ensures unemployment taxes remain low for most Iowa employers.”

Iowa Workforce Development is the state agency charged with collecting unemployment insurance taxes from employers and operating Iowa’s unemployment insurance payment program for workers.

FLAVORED E-CIGARETTE BAN: Gov. Kim Reynolds said Wednesday she is willing to consider a ban on flavors used in e-cigarettes sold in Iowa.

Federal officials indicated last week they will ban thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes in response to a surge in underage vaping that has alarmed parents, politicians and health experts. The Food and Drug Administration will develop guidelines to remove from the market all e-cigarette flavors except tobacco.

Asked during a teleconference with Iowa reporters Wednesday if the state might consider similar steps, Reynolds said: “It’s serious what we’re seeing happen to these young kids. We’re willing to take a look at that moving forward.”

Iowa health officials say they have confirmed cases of vaping-related respiratory illnesses — most of them associated with users modifying a store-bought vape product with illicit marijuana-derived oil or buying vaping products on the street.

FISH KILL: Officials with the state Department of Natural Resources say they have traced a fish kill on Little Bear Creek one mile west of Malcom to a Poweshiek County poultry operation.

DNR officials spent two days in the field looking for the source of a fish kill reported Sept. 11. They say they found high ammonia levels in stormwater runoff from Fremont Farms northwest of Malcom.

A second source of stormwater runoff also was found at stockpiles at a nearby farm.

DNR staff found dead fish for about three miles along the creek banks. They collected water samples for laboratory analysis. DNR staff will monitor cleanup and consider appropriate enforcement action.

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