It is Weekend Update time!
Stay tuned for weekly updates to keep you informed about what is going on up at the State Capitol throughout the 2018 Legislative Session, help you engage with your elected officials and decision makers around the state, and provide you with information to activate your voice for Iowa rivers!
To get started, check out the following websites that can be very helpful during the legislative session
- Upcoming Legislative Forums
- The Iowa Legislature Website
- 25 Ways to be More Politically Active
- The Des Moines Register – Politics
- Women for Water Website
- The conversation around the water quality bill that has now been signed is that is JUST A FIRST STEP. This is a conversation that we want to continue and encourage leaders to keep working for water quality solutions in Iowa.
- Fund the Trust Day at the Iowa State Capitol is NEXT MONDAY! Stop by and remind your legislator that a majority of Iowans support raising the sales tax to generate $180 million annually to fund natural resource projects around the state (a majority of which could be dedicated to water quality. If the sales tax is raised and the Trust is funded, it will supersede the insufficient water quality bill that was passed.
- IRR is monitoring a bill (HF2008) which would change WMA’s (Watershed Management Authorities) name to Watershed Management Partnerships.
- If you are part of a WMA and want to comment on this, please reach out to you elected official and educate them about the importance of WMA’s in Iowa.
- There are several versions of the Bottle Bill back up for debate. Many are discussing expanding what is included for redemption and raising the return amount per bottle/can (HF2155). One is trying to get rid of bottle and can redemption and we have registered opposed to this (SF 10). Contact your legislator and remind them that states with redemption recycle at a rate over 80% while states that don’t recycle at rates below 30%.
- REMINDER: Next week is the FIRST FUNNEL! This means that bills that don’t make it into committee by the end of the week will be abandoned.
Our top priority this session is to restore funding for Dam Mitigation and Water Trails. Currently, the Governor has $1 million appropriated in her budget. We hope that the House and Senate will do the same. This funding supports the DNR’s River Program and has helped fund popular projects such as the whitewater courses in Charles City and Manchester. This funding is allocated by the Transportation, Infrastructure, and Capitals Appropriations Subcommittee.
IRR will be presenting to this committee on Thursday, February 22nd at 10 AM. We could use your help reaching out to them ahead of time. If you are interested in attending the committee presentation, please let us know!
Here are the members of the committee:
- 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
If you see your Senator or Representative on this list, please consider contacting them to talk about why rivers and recreation and clean water and low-head dam mitigation are important to YOU, YOUR family and YOUR community! They need to hear from constituents. Best contact is face to face, but a phone call or a handwritten note are also great. I have some newly designed, Greetings from Iowa’s Waters post cards available if you are interested
Mark your Calendar:
- IWILL/Fund the Trust Lobby Day at the Capitol- Monday, February 12th
- IRR Presents the appropriations subcommittee to request restored funding for Dam Mitigation and Water Trails- Thursday, February 22nd at 10 AM
- Green Drinks meetup with Adam Hammes and Women for Water at Peace Tree Brewing- Thursday, February 22nd at 5 PM
- Environmental Lobby Day at the Capitol- Thursday, March 22nd