Monday Reads

So what’s the Iowa Legislature up to this week?

Labor and taxes, says The Gazette/Lee’s James Lynch. Tonight lawmakers hold a public hearing in HF 149, a bill that would require contractors to pay prevailing wages on public sector contracts.  Unions want it, but business groups, hospitals and local governments oppose the idea. They’ll line up to speak at the 7:30 p.m. hearing, which, if history is a guide, will be lightly attended by actual lawmakers.

House and Senate transportation panels will get expert testimony Tuesday on the impact of a gas tax increase.

Lawmakers are also looking into the Atalissa bunkhouse. Charlotte Eby reports that the Government Oversight Committee will begin hearings this week.

In Nebraska, food is on the legislative agenda daily, and lots of it apparently. The World-Herald carries an interesting story about all the free goodies enjoyed by members of the unicameral. “$12,000 and all you can eat,” is evidently the old joke in Lincoln.

Legislative gorging is nothing new. Also not new, Illinois politicians in trouble. The Quad-City Times fronts the new allegations against Blago-appointed U.S. Sen. Roland Burris. The obligatory calls for his resignation and perjury possibilities are rolling in.

And we’ve heard about teenage obesity and pregnancy etc., but how about gambling? Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson reports  on efforts by Iowa officials to nip it in the bud. What are teenagers doing in the basement with the door closed? Maybe playing Texas hold ’em. Iowa gambling treatment counselors are already treating teenage gamblers.

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