Conversations About Government in Iowa

Short, conversational interviews conducted by LSA staff regarding state and local government. Watch for new Conversations to be posted here periodically.

Date Document Description
09/08/2016 John Quinn - Career in Law Enforcement Interview by Alice Wisner with John Quinn, current Waukee Chief of Police and former Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Special Agent and DCI Division Director with the Iowa Department of Public Safety, regarding his career in State law enforcement prior to his retirement, his current role as the Chief of Police in Waukee, and changes in law enforcement over the years.
12/13/2017 George Oster — Township Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services Interview by Robin Madison and Laura Book with George Oster, former Executive Director of the Fire Service Institute at Iowa State University, regarding the role of townships in providing fire protection and emergency medical services in Iowa.
10/17/2017 Senator Charles Grassley - History of the Iowa School Aid Formula Interview by Josie Gerrietts with US Senator Charles Grassley regarding the history of and his role in the development of the Iowa school aid formula.
09/20/2017 Lettie Prell - Thirty-Year Career in the Field of Corrections Interview by Alice Wisner with Lettie Prell, retiring Director of Research in the Department of Corrections (DOC), about her 30-year career that included earlier postings with the Board of Parole and the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Division in the Department of Human Rights.
08/22/2017 Lee Tack - Iowa School Aid Interview by Josie Gerrietts with Lee Tack, retired Division Director in the Department of Education, regarding his career in education and the history of the Iowa School Aid Formula.
10/26/2016 Judy Bradshaw - Director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Interview by Alice Wisner with Judy Bradshaw, current Director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy and former Des Moines Chief of Police, regarding her career in law enforcement.
09/01/2016 State Forest Nursery Interview by Deb Kozel with Paul Tauke, State Forester with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, regarding operations at the State Forest Nursery in Ames.
08/01/2016 State Accounting Enterprise: Chief Operating Officer Interview Interview by Jennifer Acton with Calvin McKelvogue, State Accounting Enterprise Chief Operating Officer with the Department of Administrative Services, regarding his work in state accounting and the changes implemented over the years to maintain Iowa's solid financial outlook for years to come.
02/05/2016 Former Women Legislators Roundtable Part 1 (Part one of two) Interview by Robin Madison and Jennifer Acton, Senior Legislative Analysts with the Legislative Services Agency, with former Iowa legislators: Senator Mary Kramer, Representative Delores Mertz, Senator Sandy Greiner, and Representative Janet Adams regarding their respective careers in the Iowa General Assembly.
02/05/2016 Former Women Legislators Roundtable Part 2 (Part two of two) Interview by Robin Madison and Jennifer Acton, Senior Legislative Analysts with the Legislative Services Agency, with former Iowa legislators: Senator Mary Kramer, Representative Delores Mertz, Senator Sandy Greiner, and Representative Janet Adams, regarding their respective careers in the Iowa General Assembly.
02/05/2016 History of the Legislative Services Agency and the Legislative Fiscal Bureau Interview by Glen Dickinson, current Director of the Legislative Services Agency, with Dennis Prouty, former Director of the Legislative Services Agency and Legislative Fiscal Bureau, regarding Dennis's career as the Director of both agencies and his work in the Legislative Branch until his retirement in 2008.
10/26/2015 Abandoned Mine Land Reclaimation Program Interview by Deb Kozel with Susan Kozak, Mines and Minerals Bureau Chief with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, regarding the Abandoned Mine Land Reclaimation Program.
09/22/2015 Smarter Balanced Assessments Interview by Tim Crellin with David Tilly, Deputy Director of the Iowa Department of Education, regarding Smarter Balanced Assessments and current assessments.
03/05/2015 History of the Administrative Rules Process Interview by Glen Dickinson, Director of the Legislative Services Agency, with Joe Royce upon his retirement as Administrative Rules Coordinator regarding the creation of the administrative rules process and the history of how it evolved into the Committee it is today.
03/05/2015 Reflections on the Legislative Process Interview by Glen Dickinson, Director of the Legislative Services Agency, with Joe Royce upon his retirement as Administrative Rules Coordinator regarding an historical perspective on a broad range of subjects, including the Capitol restoration and the legislative process in general.
11/21/2014 Federal Road Funding Interview by Adam Broich with Dan Franklin, Director of the Office of Policy and Legislative Services, and Stu Anderson, Division Director of Planning, Programming, and Modal Funding for the Department of Transportation regarding federal road funding including a history of the federal Highway Trust Fund and the future of federal road funding.
09/26/2014 REAP Program Overview Interview by Deb Kozel with Jean Eells, State Soil and Water Committee member, regarding the Iowa Department of Natural Resources REAP Program (Resource Enhancement and Protection Fund) including an overview of the REAP Fund and the prospective of a REAP grant recipient.
09/09/2014 The Career of a Correctional Officer Interview by Beth Lenstra with Marty Hathaway, Correctional Officer for the State of Iowa with the Iowa Department of Corrections at the Iowa Medical Classification Center (IMCC) at Oakdale regarding Marty’s career, a typical day as a correctional officer, the attributes of a good correctional officer, and how a real day in the life of a correctional officer differs from how it is depicted in television and the movies.
08/20/2014 Jail Inspections Interview by Beth Lenstra with Delbert Longley, Chief Jail Inspector for the State of Iowa and an employee of the Iowa Department of Corrections, regarding Delbert’s career, the jail inspection process, and the development of administrative rules related to jail inspections.
11/01/2013 College Savings Iowa, 529 Plan Interview by Ron Robinson, Senior Legislative Analyst, with the Fiscal Services Division of the Legislative Services Agency, with Michael Fitzgerald, Iowa Treasurer of State about Iowa's 529 plan, what College Savings Iowa is, and public participation in the plan.
10/01/2013 Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund Interview by Adam Broich, Legislative Analyst, with the Fiscal Services Division of the Legislative Services Agency with Chuck Corell, Division Administrator with the Conservation and Recreation Division, with the Department of Natural Resources regarding the Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund including the Fund history, revenues, and expenditures.
10/01/2013 State and Federally Declared Disasters Interview by Jennifer Acton, Senior Legislative Analyst, with the Fiscal Services Division of the Legislative Services Agency with John Benson, Communications Bureau Chief, with the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management regarding the differences between a State and federally declared disaster and the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s role in mitigating the disaster.
09/01/2013 7th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services, Community-Based Corrections (CBC) Interview by Beth Lenstra with Jim Wayne, Director of the 7th Judicial District, Department of Correctional Services Community-Based Corrections (CBC), regarding Jim?s career in corrections, the history of the CBC, CBC treatment programs, and budget issues.
09/01/2013 Iowa Correctional Institution for Women at Mitchellville Interview by Beth Lenstra with Patti Wachtendorf, Warden of the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women at Mitchellville, regarding Patti?s career in corrections, the gender-specific treatment programs for women at Mitchellville, and the new construction taking place at Mitchellville.
08/01/2013 Department of Natural Resources Happy and Healthy Outdoors Program Interview by Deb Kozel with Michelle Wilson, Outdoor Recreation Coordinator with the DNR, regarding the Happy and Healthy Outdoors Program sponsored by the DNR.
08/01/2013 Iowa College Student Aid Commission Interview by Robin Madison with Heather Doe, Associate Director for the Iowa College Student Aid Commission, regarding Commission programs that help prepare elementary, middle school, and high school students for college and careers.
08/01/2013 Iowa Ethics and Campaign Finance Board Interview by Dwayne Ferguson with Megan Tooker, Executive Director and Legal Counsel for the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Finance Disclosure Board, regarding the responsibilities of the Board and staff, the enforcement of campaign and ethics laws, and important current and upcoming issues for the Board.
01/01/2013 Fiscal Services Division Interview by Mary Shipman with Holly Lyons, Director of the Fiscal Services Division of the Legislative Services Agency, regarding the background of the Fiscal Services Division, the major roles the Division has in the legislative process, and the history of the Division.
01/01/2013 Iowa Medicaid Interview by Jess Benson with Jennifer Vermeer, Iowa Medicaid Director, regarding the basics of Medicaid including who is eligible, how the program is operated, and what drives the expenditures.
12/01/2012 Iowa School Aid Funding Formula Interview by Dave Reynolds with Shawn Snyder, Division Administrator with the Legislative Services Agency, regarding the Iowa school aid funding formula.
12/01/2012 Prison Operations Interview by Beth Lenstra with Jerry Burt, Deputy Director of the Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC), regarding the 1981 prison riot at the Iowa State Penitentiary at Fort Madison, changes in prison operations as a result of the riot, and the DOC's mission in managing the institutions.
12/01/2012 State Budget Process Interview by Shawn Snyder with Dave Reynolds, Senior Legislative Analyst with the Legislative Services Agency, regarding Iowa?s budget process.
11/01/2012 Gas Tax Interview by Estelle Montgomery with Stu Anderson, Director of the Iowa Department of Transportation's Planning, Programming and Modal Division, regarding the gas tax in funding the roadway system, the philosophy behind a gas tax user fee, the specifics of the current form of the gas tax, and the future of the gas tax as a sustainable funding source.
11/01/2012 Insurance Committee Interview by Ron Robinson with Ed Holland, Risk and Benefits Manager with the Department of Administrative Services, regarding how the Committee was created, its purpose, and the benefits provided to Iowa taxpayers.
11/01/2012 Lottery History and Operations Interview by Dwayne Ferguson with Mary Neubauer, Vice President of External Relations with the Iowa Lottery, regarding the history and organization of the Lottery, as well as funding, security, and other issues facing the Lottery.
11/01/2012 Project AWARE Interview by Adam Broich with Brian Soenen, Project Coordinator for Project AWARE with the Department of Natural Resources, regarding the project and water quality issues.
11/01/2012 Rail Transportation in Iowa Interview by Marcia Tannian with Tammy Nicholson, Director of the Office of Rail Transportation in the Iowa Department of Transportation, regarding historical and current rail transportation in Iowa.
11/01/2012 State Appellate Defender Interview by Beth Lenstra with Mark Smith, State Appellate Defender, regarding the State appellate process, defense counsel services to indigent defendants, and the mix of public and private attorneys in this process.
10/01/2012 Comparing Iowa College Student Aid to Nation An interview by Robin Madison with Todd Brown, Director of Student Financial Aid Programs, College Student Aid Commission, regarding how Iowa compares to the rest of the nation in the amount and types of state-funded college student aid.
10/01/2012 Historical Overview of the Judicial Branch An interview by Jennifer Acton with David Boyd, State Court Administrator, regarding the history of the Judicial Branch, court re-organization in the 1980's, and court technology in the 1990's to present.
10/01/2012 Vertical Infrastructure Program, Major and Routine Maintenance An interview by Marcia Tannian with Jennifer Moehlmann, Manager of the Vertical Infrastructure Program within the Department of Administrative Services, regarding major and routine maintenance of State of Iowa buildings.
09/01/2012 Overview of the Department of Corrections Part 2 Interview by Beth Lenstra with John Baldwin, Director of the Department of Corrections, regarding the creation of the Department of Corrections, current challenges and opportunities, and future issues of Iowa's corrections system.
08/01/2012 Overview of the Department of Corrections' Iowa Corrections Offender Network (ICON) Interview by Beth Lenstra with John Baldwin, Director of the Department of Corrections, regarding a general overview and funding of the ICON System.
08/01/2012 State Athletic Commissioner Interview by Kent Ohms with Michael Mauro, Labor Commissioner, regarding his role as the State Athletic Commissioner.
08/01/2012 The Founding of Iowa's Community College System Interview by Robin Madison with Senator Jack Kibbie regarding the creation of the Community College System in Iowa.
07/01/2012 Iowa Public Television (IPTV) Interview by John Parker with Dan Miller, Executive Director and General Manager of IPTV, regarding programming, costs, and funding sources.
07/01/2012 Resource Enhancement and Protection(REAP) Program Interview by Deb Kozel with Tammie Krausman, Executive Officer with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), about the REAP Program, its funding and the types of programs funded.
12/01/2011 Municipal Fire and Police Retirement System (411 System) Interview by Jennifer Acton with Dennis Jacobs, Executive Director of the Municipal Fire and Police Retirement System (411 System), regarding how the retirement system came to be in the early 1990's and how the System has developed over the past 30 years.
11/01/2011 Certified Annual Financial Report (CAFR) Interview by Dave Reynolds with Calvin McKelvogue from the Department of Administrative Services, regarding how the CAFR is put together, what is included in the CAFR, and how that information is used by the State.
11/01/2011 Effects of Fuel Prices on the Iowa State Patrol Interview by Jennifer Acton with Colonel Patrick Hoye, Chief of the Iowa State Patrol, regarding how fuel prices impact the Iowa State Patrol vehicles and airplanes.
11/01/2011 Legislative Bill Drafting Interview by Robin Madison with Richard Johnson, Director of the Legal Services Division of LSA, regarding how bills are requested and drafted.
11/01/2011 State Bond Rating Interview by Marcia Tannian with Stephanie Devin, Deputy Treasurer of the State of Iowa, regarding what is a credit rating, how Iowa's bond rating is set, what is included in the bond rating, and how Iowa can continue to maintain a high bond rating.
10/01/2011 Capitol Tour Guides Interview by Jennifer Acton with Joan Arnett, Tour Guide Supervisor at the Iowa State Capitol, regarding the tour guide budget, the gift shop, how to set up a tour, and some history of the Capitol.
10/01/2011 Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) Interview by Jennifer Acton with Jeff Robinson, Senior Legislative Analyst with the LSA, regarding who is involved in the Revenue Estimating Conference, how the estimate is put together, and economic indicators and outlooks for Iowa's economy.