2018 Year in Review: Politics

Local News

Here are the top political stories that impacted Iowa in 2018. 

Iowans elect female leadership

Midterm elections brought change to the state. Kim Reynolds was elected the first female governor of Iowa; Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne won their Congressional races, marking the first two female House of Representatives members in Iowa history.

Medical marijuana becomes a reality

After years of research and education at the statehouse, medical marijuana is now available in Iowa. 

WATCH: Emmy Award-winning ‘This Week in Iowa’ special on medical marijuana in Iowa

What are schools’ policies for medical marijuana?

Passing of Governor Robert D. Ray

Over the summer, Iowans said goodbye to an icon in Iowa politics—Governor Robert D. Ray. 

Ray passed away in July at the age of 89. Governor Ray played a huge role in welcoming refugees to the state in the 1970s. 

Senator Grassley: Robert Ray made Iowa a better place to grow

Governor Ray’s former chief of staff: “He was a role model”

Misconduct by state employees

Rep. Chip Baltimore was arrested for drunk driving, while Majority Leader Bill Dix resigned after being caught on video kissing a female lobbyist. 

Iowa Finance Authority Director Dave Jamison was fired by Gov. Kim Reynolds after multiple accusations of sexual harassment. A report later detailed his actions while employed by the state agency. 

Jamison “intentionally, without consent, and in a public place” grabbed an employee’s breasts with both of his hands, the report detailed

State senator Nate Boulton withdrew his name from the gubernatorial race after two women went public with allegations of sexual misconduct he committed before he was in political office. 

Governor Reynolds signs Fetal Heartbeat Bill into law

A bill. Then a law. And now a court case. Women’s reproductive rights took center stage this legislative session as Gov. Reynolds signed the Fetal Heartbeat Bill into law, banning abortions once a fetus’ heartbeat is detected.

The law is currently being challenged in the court system. 

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