The pendulum swung swiftly.

House File 291 was introduced in the Iowa legislature on February 9, was passed by the House and Senate on February 16, and was signed by Governor Terry Branstad the next day.

Despite that speed, this was not some emergency measure. Instead, it was part of a pent-up agenda being unleashed, as Republicans enjoyed – really enjoyed – their first unified control of the legislative and executive branches of state government since 1998.

The River Cities’ Reader’s 2017 Spring Guide – featuring more than 1,300 events from March through June – is on stands now. Pick up a copy wherever you find the River Cities’ Reader!

You can also browse it online or use our online calendar to find everything happening in the Quad Cities this spring!

It’s admittedly difficult to get your head around Illinois’ recently passed Future Energy Jobs Bill – a massive, long-gestating piece of legislation that touches on many aspects of energy policy.

Yet the legislation is worth exploring. It will be a major change in Illinois energy policy when it takes effect on June 1. And it’s an instructive study of the give-and-take of the legislative process – a case that was absolutely green and utility-friendly, but one that might not be nearly as kind to consumers as has been promised.

The River Cities’ Reader’s 2016-17 Winter Guide – featuring more than 1,300 events through March – is on stands now. Pick up a copy today!

If you think about the type of person likely to raise backyard chickens in the Quad Cities, you might conjure a vision of somebody similar to Liz Smith. With philosophical and practical motivations and a love of animals, she did her research and educated her city’s leaders.

The River Cities’ Reader’s 2016 Fall Guide – featuring more than 1,300 events through November – is on stands now. Pick up a copy today!

In 2006, Western Illinois University approved its master plan for a Moline riverfront campus, boasting that “this new location will host an initial enrollment of 3,000 students.”

Last year – with two of three planned construction phases complete – Western Illinois University-Quad Cities (WIU-QC) had 1,531 students.

On the surface, this looks pretty bad. There was no equivocation in that enrollment statement, and the numbers aren’t even close.

When Bob Murdock died on June 6, the outpouring of shock and grief was stunning. Many of us knew him as the stalwart bartender at Blue Cat, but these remembrances testify that he was so much more.

The River Cities’ Reader’s 2016 Summer Guide – featuring more than 1,400 events through August – is on stands now. Pick up a copy today!

In his annual “state of the judiciary” speech to the General Assembly in January, Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark S. Cady highlighted a new initiative.

“Three counties – Johnson, Linn, and Scott – are collaborating with Georgetown University on juvenile-court pilot projects,” he said. “These projects seek to eliminate racial disparity in the juvenile-justice system and its adverse consequences to our state.”

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