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It's at least worth looking into

Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen of Des Moines said her caucus is exploring whether it's possible to shield taxpayers from having to pay for improper behavior by members of state government, including elected state legislators and members of their staffs, according to a Nov. 24 story from The Journal's Des Moines bureau.

Her comments, made during an interview on Iowa Public Television's "Iowa Press," follow a recent $1.75 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by a former Iowa Senate Republican staffer who alleged she was fired in May 2013 after filing a complaint alleging a toxic work environment caused by sexual harassment.

"I don't think that there is a single Iowan out there that believes they should be paying the price for what happened in the Iowa Senate," Petersen said.

Good point, senator.

Petersen said discussion today is focused on identifying a way to protect taxpayers in the future from having to shoulder responsibility for payment of civil settlements involving misbehavior within state government.

"We don't have it mapped out yet. But what I can tell you is that there are conversations going on about 'How should we address this so that Iowa taxpayers aren't strapped with the bill?" Petersen said.

We don't know where, if anywhere, these conversations will lead, but we believe this is an idea at least worth study.

Step in right direction

U.S. Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, are among senators who co-sponsored a Senate resolution to mandate sexual harassment-prevention training for all members of the Senate and all members of their staffs, The Hill reported.

Under the resolution, which passed unanimously, senators and staff members will have 60 days to complete the training. Completion of sexual harassment training will be required of all senators and staff members each session of Congress.

Growth in economy picks up pace

America's economy grew at an annual pace of 3.3 percent from July through September, the fastest rate in three years, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday.

The growth marked an improvement from the 3.1 percent reported for the second quarter of the year and the 1.2 percent reported for the first quarter.

Welcome back

Again this year, we join our community in welcoming players, coaches and fans from across the country to Sioux City for the NAIA Volleyball National Championship at the Tyson Events Center.

This is the 10th consecutive year the tournament has come to Sioux City. The champion will be decided on Saturday night.

Through the NAIA Volleyball National Championship and the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Championship each March, Sioux City and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics have formed a strong relationship we hope continues to flourish because these events have become annual local highlights of benefit to our community.

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North Korea resumes missile tests

After a 10-week pause, North Korea earlier this week conducted an intercontinental ballistic missile test - its 20th missile test of 2017. The missile reached the highest altitude recorded by a North Korean missile to date.

In reaction, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said the test showed North Korea is capable of striking "everywhere in the world."


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