Iowa Politics with Jeff Stein — Thu. Mar. 26, 2020

Iowa Politics with Jeff Stein — Thu. Mar. 26, 2020

We’re All Adults Here

Increasingly, folks in the metro areas of Iowa are calling upon the governor to impose a statewide shelter-in-place order. It’s a bad idea.

It points out yet again how we are one state, with two very distinct populations…and why often a one-size fits all rule doesn’t fit anyone.

The concern, of course, is that the more people are in contact with one another, the greater the chance that COVID-19 will spread. And obviously, that concern is greater in places where more people are crammed into tight spaces, like cities. So while it’s understandable that those mayors want the governor to help them out…most have their own city ordinances that allow the mayors to issue such orders, city by city. It’s a fundamental tenet of home rule. They’re concerned that one city with one rule, and an adjacent city with another rule, will lead to problems.

But it’s a bigger problem to tell people to stay home in less densely populated areas, where there is not community spread. Well more than half our counties do not have a reported case yet. Sure, they should be careful…but it’s way too broad to say all counties in Iowa have to be treated the same way.

At the time I wrote this, there was no statewide order in place. I hope that when you are hearing it, that’s still the case…because it’s not needed. Let the cities take a stand, and if needed, take the heat.