Greetings and welcome to your weekend update!
Take an Iowa stay-cation- the 2018 legislative session is finally over- and it is time to get out and play! Let’s face it, we could use the endorphins…
- Let’s start with the good news: we came back from zero! Iowa Rivers Revival helped successfully advocate to restore the state line item for Water Trails (funding low-head dam safety mitigation and water trail improvement projects). $500,000 was approved and designated to support ongoing projects around the state! THANK YOU to all of you who helped and if you see your legislator on the list below, you might want to thank them too! Senator Craig Johnson from Independence (the NEW Senate RIIF Chair) was especially great to work with.
- Craig Johnson Chair (R) NE Iowa- Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan and Fayette Counties
- Tim L. Kapucian Vice Chair (R) Eastern Iowa- Benton, Iowa and Poweshiek Counties
- Matt McCoy Ranking Member (D) Southern Iowa- Polk and Warren Counties
- Tod R. Bowman (D) Eastern Iowa- Dubuque, Jackson and Jones Counties
- Roby Smith (R) Eastern Iowa- Scott County
- Daniel A. Huseman Chair (R) Cherokee County
- Skyler Wheeler Vice Chair (R) Sioux County
- Dennis M. Cohoon Ranking Member (D) Des Moines County
- Gary Carlson (R) Muscatine County
- David Kerr (R) Louisa County
- Mary Mascher (D) Johnson County
- Dave Maxwell (R) Poweshiek County
- Amy Nielsen (D) Johnson County
- Ras Smith (D) Black Hawk County
- Other things did not go as planned:
- The ‘water quality’ bill that was signed at the beginning of session was far from ideal. However, we are still talking about water and water quality and our legislators have assured us that this is ONLY the beginning. We must keep the pressure on them this summer and into the next session. Water quality issues have not and will not be solved with this bill. We appreciate a step in the right direction, but there is a long way to go.
- REAP funding has been cut again. While the line item remained at $12 million, at least $2 million has required use attached to it for park maintenance. Another $1 million is tied up for other uses, leaving approximately $9 million of available grant money. The state has never fully funded REAP at $25 million, but just think about what we could do if they did (IRR applies for REAP grant funding annually).
- Another session and another missed opportunity to raise the state sales tax and fund the Natural Resource and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund (IWILL). When this FINALLY does happen, approximately $180 million will be generated ANNUALLY to fund natural resource and recreation projects- nearly 60% or which is to be dedicated to water quality improvement work.
So here’s the deal… we need your help!
It is our hope that these legislative updates and action alerts were helpful and kept you informed and empowered throughout the session. This work is so important to the quality of life in Iowa, and it’s going to take all of us to unite our voices to keep moving forward for progress. Independently we may be small, but TOGETHER we are mighty.
Please consider donating to Iowa Rivers Revival today and help strengthen our collective voice for Iowa’s rivers and streams. Your support helps fund education and outreach, off-season advocacy, and furthering the work in natural stream restoration in Iowa.
We can’t do it without you and we want to keep working FOR you!
River Champions – Individuals who donate $250 or more are our River Champions! Consider a donation of $250 or more and become a River Champion today!
Flowing Contributions – Donors can give on a regular basis through various means. Workplace giving, your bank’s bill pay program, and via the IRR website are all great ways to give on a monthly basis to IRR. Consider a Flowing Contribution today to help keep IRR moving forward!