ACTION ALERT – Contact Legislators about the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIFF)

As the Legislature prepares to return on June 3rd to wrap up the 2020 session and pass their budget, now is the time to remind legislators of river funding priorities. The Governor is expected to release her revised budget recommendations sometime in the near future and we expect the Legislature will take that into consideration as they prepare their budget. The Governor initially included funding for Dam Mitigation and Water Trails in her Invest in Iowa Act. We hope she will include funding for it in her revised budget now that she is no longer pushing that initiative.

We have identified key legislators who will be making decisions about the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIFF). Please call or email the legislators listed below as well as your own local Senator and Representative. We have included email addresses and phone numbers for the key contacts.
 
Rep. Bossman – House RIIF Chair- jacob.bossman@legis.iowa.gov – (712) 251-4541
Rep. Cohoon – House RIIF Ranking Member – dennis.cohoon@legis.iowa.gov – (319) 759-2168
Speaker Grassley – House Speaker- pat.grassley@legis.iowa.gov – (319) 214-0351
Rep. Mohr – House Appropriations Chair – gary.mohr@legis.iowa.gov – (563) 271-7111
Sen. Breitbach – Senate Appropriations Chair – michael.breitbach@legis.iowa.gov – (563) 920-7399
Sen. Johnson – Senate RIIF Chair- craig.johnson@legis.iowa.gov – (319) 334-2413
Sen. Lykam – Senate RIIF Ranking Member – jim.lykam@legis.iowa.gov – (563) 391-1919
Sen. Whitver – Senate Majority Leader- jack.whitver@legis.iowa.gov – (515) 281-03560
 
We highly encourage the personalization of the email message below with your experience with the Dam Mitigation and Water Trails program, or just paddling in general. This is your opportunity to help paint a picture of the need for this continued funding and the impact the funds have. 
 
Email Message
SUBJECT LINE: RIIF Funding – Dam Mitigation and Water Trails
Hello Representative/Senator [Last Name]
 
To start, on behalf of myself and Iowa Rivers Revival, thank you for your service during this time of COVID-19. We hope you and your family are staying healthy. While the Legislature prepares to return to the Capitol, we wanted to take this time to connect with you on the Dam Mitigation and Water Trails funding. Thank you for the past support of this program. As a [constituent, Iowa Rivers Revival volunteer, paddle enthusiast, board member, etc.] I want to share with you the benefits of the Dam Mitigation and Water Trails funding through the Department of Natural Resources.
 
Since the program was created, dozens of dangerous dams have been mitigated along Iowa’s rivers, helping to support economic development, improve safety, and enhance recreation for rural communities as well as our urban areas. Providing opportunities to get outside and enjoy Iowa’s natural resources is more important than ever for our physical and mental health.
 
Currently, a low-head dam removal project in Steamboat Rock will reduce flooding, enhance quality of life, and provide increased opportunities for recreation and camping in Hardin County. Citizens and the Mayor are excited about this change which will positively impact the local economy, but it can only move forward with funding through this program. This is just one example of the many rural communities that will benefit from sustained funding for dam mitigation and water trails.
 
The Governor originally recommended funding of the Dam Mitigation and Water Trails program through the Invest In Iowa Act. However, because of the pandemic, priorities have shifted and it is expected that this bill will not move forward when the Legislature returns. Therefore, we ask that you please maintain funding at $500,000 in the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund budget for the Dam Mitigation and Water Trails program.
 
We know funds are limited and appreciate your consideration of this request. Iowans across the state value efforts to support rural economic development, improve recreational opportunities, and enhance our quality of life.
 
[Your Name]
[City]
[Contact Information]