Actor Ashton Kutcher tipped Reynolds to COVID testing program
Iowa Capital Dispatch: Actor Ashton Kutcher was the first person to suggest that Iowa look into Utah’s expanded testing program for COVID-19, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Thursday. Iowa this week launched TestIowa, the result of a $26 million contract with some Utah-based companies that will provide 540,000 COVID-19 tests to Iowans at drive-through testing sites. “It has an Iowa touch is how I actually found out about it,” Reynolds said. “I was talking to Ashton Kutcher on the phone about doing the PSA, and in the conversation, talking with him, he asked if I was familiar with what was happening with TestUtah and some of how it looked very promising, and it looked like other states should potentially take a look at that,” Reynolds said during her daily news conference. Kutcher is a Cedar Rapids native.

Advocates push Johnson County cities to forgive residents’ utility bills
Iowa City Press-Citizen: Three Johnson County organizations are calling for Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty to forgive utility bills for households feeling the greatest financial pressures of the economy’s downturn amid the pandemic. The Johnson County Affordable Housing Coalition, the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa and the Iowa City Federation of Labor wrote a letter calling for those cities to forgive water, sewer and refuse bills for households where one or more adults are unemployed.

House passes relief for small businesses and aid for hospitals and testing
New York Times: The House gave resounding approval on Thursday to a $484 billion coronavirus relief package to restart a depleted loan program for distressed small businesses and to provide funds for hospitals and coronavirus testing, and it moved to ramp up oversight of the sprawling federal response to the pandemic. President Donald Trump said he would quickly sign the measure — the latest installment in a government aid program that is approaching $3 trillion. 

– Durable-goods orders plunge 14% in March; automakers, Boeing hit hard (MarketWatch)