It is Weekend Update time!
- Next week is the SECOND FUNNEL DEADLINE.
- The second funnel will arrive arrived for the 2018 session of the Iowa Legislature on Friday, March 16th, which means scores of bills are headed for the recycling bin.The funnel is a procedural hurdle aimed at winnowing the huge number of bills introduced every year, allowing legislators to focus on those that have gained early buy-in.
- The bill to allow the DNR to set fees for fishing and hunting licenses to better fund wildlife and law enforcement programs at the DNR unanimously passed the Senate subcommittee of Brown, Dawson, and Dotzler.It is assumed that we would see the bill in the full Senate Ways and Means Committee on Monday at 3:00.
Talking points below:
- HF 631 would support critical wildlife habitat and DNR law enforcement in Iowa by increasing fees on hunting and fishing licenses.The funds go into the Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund so can only be used for this purpose.
- Hunting and fishing is $800M business in Iowa, supporting 11,500 jobs and $77M in state and local taxes.
- Improving wildlife habitat can provide for multiple benefits, including improved water quality.
- This bill passed the House last year with overwhelming bipartisan support with a vote of 92-6.
- General Fund dollars supporting the DNR have been cut in half over the last decade and the agency is in a critical state.Increasing hunting and fishing license fees raises revenues that are absolutely necessary to support and maintain Iowa’s wildlife population and natural, recreational resources that support Iowa’s economy.
- Increasing the state sales tax to fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund (IWILL) and funding for low-head dam mitigation and water trails are still possible this session!If there are still topics you hope to discuss with your Senator or Representative, THIS WEEKEND is a great time to get out to a forum in your community and let them know what you care about.
- WARNING: Our lobbyists have warned us that second funnel week is usually very busy and chaotic up at the Capitol so be prepared if you are heading up there next week.
Mark your Calendar:
- Second funnel deadline (week 10)- March 16th
- IRR River Town of the Year Award reception in Elgin, Iowa- Friday, March 16th
- IRR River Town of the Year Award reception at the Capitol- Wednesday, March 21st
- Environmental Lobby Day at the Capitol- Thursday, March 22nd
- Call or Email your Legislators in support of IWILL- Thursday, March 22nd
- 100th calendar day of the session; legislators’ per diem expires- April 17th
Tips- check out the following websites that can be very helpful during the legislative session: