The Insiders Segment 1

DES MOINES, Iowa — Brenna Bird, Iowa’s new Republican attorney general, said she will ask Iowa lawmakers for additional funding for her department. Bird–a former Guthrie County attorney who defeated 40-year incumbent Democrat Tom Miller in November’s election–said she wants to expand the number of prosecutors and conduct a full audit of victim services as she begins her new position.

Bird praised Miller for assisting her with the transition into the position.

The Insiders Segment 2

Responses and restrictions to the COVID-19 health pandemic have increased momentum to shift additional tax dollars to families who enroll their children in private schools, an advocate contends. Trish Wilger is the longtime executive director of the Iowa Alliance for Choice in Education.

Wilger said more parents became more aware, and then more critical, of what public schools were teaching their children.

Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican who won re-election in November, is following some other Republican governors and pushing to expand taxpayer funding for private school students.

Critics, including the Iowa State Education Association, say the governor’s plans will hurt public school students by taking away resources and that private schools don’t have the same state responsibilities regarding admitting students or providing accountability and transparency.

The Insiders Segment 3

High school students with the March for Our Lives Iowa organization want legislators to pass legislation that they say could reduce gun-related deaths. But Republicans, who control both chambers of the legislature, have worked in recent years to lessen restrictions, rather than expand them.

The Insiders Segment 4

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird predicted that she will travel the state more than her predecessor.