Iowa

CSG Midwest
Career and technical education programs in Iowa schools will be held to a higher set of standards under legislation passed this spring. CTE programs use work-based learning to prepare students for life after high school, whether that is entering the workforce or attending college. Iowa’s standards hadn’t undergone a major revision since 1989, allowing each school district to evolve CTE programs at its own pace.
CSG Midwest

Iowa has joined the growing number of U.S. states that ban life-without-parole sentences for individuals 17 and under. The state Supreme Court issued its ruling in May, arguing that such sentences violate the Iowa Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The decision does not entitle juvenile offenders to parole, but does eliminate “up-front determinations” (namely life-without-parole sentences by a judge). 

CSG Midwest
Under a new law that received unanimous approval in the state Legislature, Iowa is making it easier for members of the military and other overseas residents to vote. HF 2147 gives overseas voters an extra 30 days to request and return special absentee ballots. (The period of time was extended from 90 days to 120.) Statutory language also was changed to prevent overseas ballots from being rejected by county auditors.
CSG Midwest
A recent decision in Michigan to eliminate straight-ticket voting leaves the Midwest with only two states that offer this option on ballots. At one time, states commonly allowed individuals to vote for all partisan candidates through a single selection — their choice of party. But according to Ballotpedia, this began to change in the 1960s and 1970s. Before the passage of SB 13 in Michigan, Wisconsin had been the last state in this region to end straight-ticket voting, in 2011.
CSG Midwest
Over the past two years, Iowa legislators have deepened the state's commitment to work-based learning, and thousands of young people are taking advantage of the opportunity. Through a bill passed in 2013 (HF 604), lawmakers laid the groundwork for the creation of 15 regional intermediary networks. The goal of these networks is to increase K-12 students' access to career fairs, internships and job-shadowing opportunities in their communities.

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