Iowa’s Bid For Open Government Is Never-Ending

The grade might stun you — Iowa receiving a D-plus for government transparency from the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity Monday morning, Nov. 9, in a government transparency study of all 50 U.S. states. These same organizations gave Iowa a C-plus the last time they studied government transparency for a March 2012 report. How could Iowa do worse this time? Iowa has made some moves, notably forming a Public Information Board later in 2012 to better resolve complaints Iowans have about government openness.

Sunshine Week message: Open Government Makes us Better Citizens

Don’t expect movement in the state Senate on a House bill that would keep secret the names and addresses of people seeking gun permits in Iowa. “I’m not planning on doing any gun bills this year, period,” Sen. Rob Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, said in a brief phone conversation while heading to work earlier this week. Hogg is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which gives him the power to make that decision. Hogg sees no consensus on a variety of bills dealing with guns, ranging from making it easier to carry a gun to putting tighter controls on them. So, he said, “I’ve just sort of taken all gun issues off the table.”

Open government advocates have been paying particular attention to House File 81 in the debates over gun ownership and regulation.