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Republicans tout successful session, Democrats say they pushed a 'culture war'

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

A massive government reorganization, a ban on youth gender-affirming care, changes to child labor laws. Iowa Republicans are celebrating these measures and more with the end of the 2023 legislative session. Democrats say laws passed at the Republican-controlled Statehouse will harm Iowans.

River to River host Ben Kieffer is joined by journalists who lived and breathed this legislative session — Katarina Sostaric of Iowa Public Radio, Stephen Gruber-Miller of the Des Moines Register and Kathie Obradovich of the Iowa Capital Dispatch. They discuss the measures that did and didn't pass and their impacts.


  • Katarina Sostaric, state government reporter, Iowa Public Radio
  • Stephen Gruber-Miller, Statehouse reporter, Des Moines Register
  • Kathie Obradovich, editor-in-chief, Iowa Captial Dispatch.
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.