August 22, 2018

    Labor Day Celebrations in Iowa
    Supreme Court Strikes Down Voter Regulations
    Presidential Disaster Declaration Requested for Tornadoes
    Deer Hunting Licenses
    Vaccines for College Students

    Labor Day Celebrations in Iowa

    From better wages to the weekend to safe working conditions, all Iowans benefit today from the hard work of the labor movement over the years. On Monday, September 3rd, we will again recognize the women and men who work in our factories, our hospitals, our restaurants, our cities, our schools, and everywhere that a service or product is produced or sold.

    Labor Day has its roots in trade union celebrations in the 19th Century. Unions began choosing days to celebrate each year, and these celebrations grew until states began recognizing the days as state holidays. These celebrations spread nationwide with many states adopting the holiday. By the time congress passed Labor Day legislation, 23 states already had celebrations.

    While we’ve made great progress in the last century improving the lives of workers, it’s important to recognize the new challenges Iowa workers face today. Too many Iowa families are being squeezed by growing income inequality and wages that aren’t keeping up with the rising costs of raising a family. Too many hard working Iowans no longer have a say in their own workplace and don’t have health care or can’t afford to get sick or take care of a child who is sick because they won’t get paid.

    Today, more than 80 countries worldwide celebrate Labor Day. To find Labor Day events near you visit: https://www.iowaaflcio.org/labor-day-events.

    Supreme Court Strikes Down Voter Regulations

    The Iowa Supreme court upheld an injunction from a district court judge and put a hold on new controversial early voting restrictions and misleading advertising by the Iowa Secretary of State.

    The Supreme Court blocked provisions of the legislation that included misleading advertising by the Secretary of State and increased regulations on absentee ballot requests. Voters will still be asked to show an ID in the November election but are not required to have one in order to vote.

    The Supreme Court agreed with the district court that ruled that the state’s argument of providing more integrity to Iowa’s election fell flat by failing to prove a threat that these new regulations would solve. The case was brought to court by an Iowa State student and the League of United Latin American Citizens.

    The Supreme Court did overturn one of the district court decisions by returning the early voting period to 29 days as the legislation had initially stated, meaning Iowans will have 11 less days to vote early than in previous years.

    Presidential Disaster Declaration Requested for Tornadoes

    State officials have officially requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration for five Iowa counties due to significant damage sustained from several tornadoes on July 19, 2018.

    In the letter from Iowa’s Governor, officials petitioned for federal assistance which included a request for funds under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Individual Assistance Program for Marshall and Polk Counties. If approved, the federal Individual Assistance Program funding would provide programs and services to assist Iowans maximize recovery, including housing, personal property replacement, medical expenses, and legal services. As of July 27, 2018, there have been 207 applications received pending approval for $790,853, 51 applications closed for $16,155, and 394 cases assigned.

    Additionally, the letter requested funding for Lee, Marion, Marshall, and Van Buren counties under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program to rebuild damaged infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and culverts or to cover costs of emergency work during, and debris removal after, severe weather. Per the joint federal, state, and local preliminary damage assessment of five counties (Lee, Marion, Marshall, Polk, and Van Buren), the report estimated over $6 million worth of damage from the tornadoes that could qualify for the Public Assistance Program.

    Lastly, the Governor requested funding to conduct hazard mitigation activities (HMA) across the entire state. As of August 10, 2018, 29 HMA projects have been completed within impacted areas at a cost of $37 million.

    As of today, the Trump Administration has not responded to an earlier letter dated August 1, 2018 from state officials with a Presidential Disaster Declaration request for federal funding to assist 30 counties impacted by flooding and severe storms that occurred from June 6 to July 2, 2018.

    Deer Hunting Licenses

    Deer hunting licenses for Iowa residents went on sale on August 15th through the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Iowa residents are eligible for one any deer license for a gun season, one any deer license for archery season, and one county specific antlerless deer license. Hunters can purchase licenses through the last day of each deer hunting season. For more information on deer hunting and to purchase a deer license, visit the DNR’s website http://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting.

    The application period for nonresident deer hunters has ended and the drawing results are online at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/Nonresident-Hunting. If a hunter was unsuccessful in receiving a license they can purchase an excess tag. Excess tags are on sale on the DNR’s website or by calling 800-367-1188.

    Vaccines for College Students

    Vaccines are important all year long, but especially as students of all ages go back to school or college.

    While most parents are aware of the vaccinations needed for their child to start school as a kindergartener, it is important to remember that college students need to be vaccinated, too. The recent cases of mumps, chicken pox, and meningitis on Iowa college campuses illustrate the importance of vaccines to protect young adults. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) stated that some immunizations, like the Tdap, which protects against pertussis, can wane over time and so it may need to be boosted; some, like HPV, may have never been received; and others, like the flu vaccine, need to be given yearly.

    Parents of college-aged students should talk to their health care provider about these vaccines specifically recommended for young adults ages 19 through 26:

    • First-year college students living in residence halls are recommended to be vaccinated with meningococcal conjugate vaccine. If they had already received this vaccine before their 16th birthday, they should get a booster dose before going to college for maximum protection.

    • Two doses of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine are recommended (and often required) for all incoming college freshmen.

    • Tdap vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). A single dose of Tdap is routinely recommended for preteens and teens (preferably at age 11-12 years); however, adults 19 or older who did not receive Tdap as a preteen or teen should receive a single dose of Tdap.

    • HPV vaccine protects against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes most cases of cervical cancers, and can cause cancer in males. HPV vaccination is recommended for teens and young adults who did not start or finish the HPV vaccine series at age 11 or 12 years. Young women under age 27 and young men under age 22 should be vaccinated. Even if it has been many years since a first or second dose of HPV vaccine, young adults should still complete the HPV vaccination series. The HPV vaccine series does not need to be restarted even if there is a long gap in between doses.

    • Seasonal flu vaccine protects against up to four flu viruses that are likely to circulate in Iowa during the upcoming flu season. The flu can cause severe illness that may require hospital care, even in healthy adults.

    • Two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine are recommended for all college-age adolescents and adults born after 1980. Only those with a reliable history of chickenpox or shingles disease, or laboratory evidence of immunity to varicella, do not need to receive two doses of varicella vaccine.

    To learn more about all the recommended vaccines for young adults and college students, visit https://www.vaccines.gov/who_and_when/adults/adults_19_26/index.html.