2018 LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
WE LOST ON THIS ONE: This bad bill was fast-tracked just like Gov. Reynolds intended.
"Over 50% of Iowa’s waterways that have been tested have been found to be impaired, that's more than 750 impaired waterways. Iowa is the second-leading contributor to the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Communities across this state struggle to provide safe drinking water to our citizens." (R. Hogg) Yet Governor Reynolds wants to fast-track a water bill that does not require agricultural operations responsible for nitrates and phosphorus flowing into Iowa waterways to do anything. The bill does not set bench marks, solid goals, funding requirements or adequate oversight for achieving water quality objectives.
From Rob Hogg:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2018
BAD WATER BILL PASSES HOUSE
State Capitol, Des Moines
The Iowa House failed to force a conference committee on Senate File 512 (a bill addressing water quality) today on a 54-46 vote, and then passed that bill 59-41. It now goes to Governor Reynolds for her consideration. Iowans can contact her office at 515-281-5211 to let her know how they feel about this bill and other pending issues.
Senator Rob Hogg (D-Cedar Rapids) issued this statement today in response to the passage of Senate File 512:
"Senate File 512 is bad because it does not include any monitoring, accountability, or reporting. It is bad because it does not target watersheds or use a watershed approach, and so it will not achieve the results Iowans need. It is bad because the money it promises to be used in the future on this issue is being taken away from cities, schools, and infrastructure, and can be taken away by a future Legislature just like Republicans did last year when it took away 25% of the funding for the REAP natural resources program."
"I am pleased that all House Democrats voted in favor of a conference committee where we could have addressed these shortcomings. Unfortunately, House Republicans rejected the conference committee and chose to pass a bad bill without adequate public input. They are kicking the can down the road once again so Iowans will have to wait again for the meaningful water legislation we need for our state."
Iowa Legislature Approves Voluntary Water Quality Bill
~US News & World Report, 1/23/18
After years-long debate, water quality legislation is headed to the governor
~Des Moines Register, 1/23/18
Iowans deserve a watershed approach to water quality
~The Gazette, 1/15/18
Group’s poll shows support for sales tax increase to fund water quality projects
~Radio Iowa, , 1/11/18
2018 Iowa Legislative policy priorities
~Center for Rural Affairs, 1/9/18
Iowa: Now is the time to act on water quality
~Center for Rural Affairs,1/8/18
Iowa needs real action for water solutions
~Rob Hogg, guest columnist, The Gazette
Contact your state Representative or Senator and tell them you are OPPOSED to Senate File 512 because it sets no goals. It establishes no watershed management governance and does not target high-priority watersheds. After cutting millions from many water programs, Senate File 512 will spend up to $27 million a year for unspecified water projects beginning in 2021, with the funding coming from sources currently used for schools, local governments, and building infrastructure. This is a bad and dishonest bill. Tell your legislator we want a water bill that is an honest, comprehensive and properly funded.