DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- After decades as the crossroads of prairie populists and checkbook conservatives, Iowa has suddenly become solidly Republican like many of its Midwestern neighbors.
It was one of four states - along with Kentucky, Missouri and New Hampshire - that flipped to complete GOP control in the November election, but Iowa's rush of new legislation has been the most intense.
In an all-night session last week, Iowa lawmakers approved a bill similar to one enacted in Wisconsin six years ago that strips most public sector unions of long-held collective bargaining rights, including health insurance.
Jeff Orvis, a veteran northern Iowa high school teacher, said he sees the measure leaving permanent damage to Iowa's century-old reputation for quality schools, enshrined on the state's 2004 commemorative quarter: "Foundation in education."
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