Iowa Capitol Digest for Thursday, October 7th | Government and politics


A DRY YEAR: Water year 2021, which runs from October 1 to September 30, ended with no significant improvement in drought conditions in Iowa, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

The preliminary total rainfall for the 12 month period was 29.15 inches or 6.53 inches below normal.

Most rain gauges in the state reported rainfall deficits for the water year, with some stations in north-central Iowa showing deficits of 12 to 15 inches. Only stations in the extreme southeast of Iowa recorded excess rainfall.

Current drought conditions in Iowa remain worrying, with 18 percent of the state classified as severe drought and 75 percent of the state classified as some form of drought or drought.

Average runoff has been below average for much of the past 12 months, with some areas above normal runoff for brief periods throughout the year.

Soil moisture and shallow water tables were low in some parts of the state for much of the water year, with timely rainfall helping to avoid water scarcity during worrying times.

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PROVISION REQUIRED: In response to Governor Kim Reynolds’ comment about a possible second deployment of Iowa Department of Public Safety personnel to the southern border to enforce federal immigration law, a Democratic legislature has called for an emergency meeting to see if this is a legitimate use from the emergency pact of the country.

Chuck Isenhart Rep., D-Dubuque, has asked House Government Oversight Committee Chair Holly Brink, R-Oskaloosa, to hear any evidence that would support such an operation.

Reynolds was one of a group of GOP governors who released a 10-point plan at a news conference in Mission, Texas this week calling on the Biden administration to act immediately to curb unauthorized immigration to America Protect, restore security and keep the country on track to end the humanitarian and security crisis on the southern border.

Reynolds said she wouldn’t rule out a second deployment to the border.

Earlier this year, she sent more than two dozen Iowa State Patrol officers to the border to work with law enforcement to process immigrants, confiscate drugs, and stop human trafficking.

LEGAL APPLICANT WANTED: The State Judicial Nominating Commission is accepting applications to fill a vacancy in the Iowa Court of Appeals that will occur when Judge Michael Mullins retires on January 13, 2022.

The application deadline is October 28th at 11:59 p.m. Applications can be submitted to the email address provided on the Commission’s website at To comment on an applicant, email this address before November 5th. Comments become part of the public record.

The names and résumés of applicants will be published on the website of the judicial authority.

The commission plans to interview applicants on November 9-10 to select three candidates to be presented to the governor for appointment. The interviews are public and will be streamed live on the Iowa Judicial Branch YouTube channel.

CIO WITHDRAWAL: Annette Dunn, the state’s chief information officer, has announced her resignation effective October 22nd. She will pursue an opportunity in the private sector, according to Governor Kim Reynolds.

Reynolds is planning a nationwide search for a replacement.

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