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!
- Each week you’ll be provided with a list of upcoming legislative forums to attend around the state
- We will share House and Senate file numbers so that you can track interesting bills
- We will provide you with our legislative priorities and talking points
- We’ll teach you how to get in touch with key players on key issues to make your voice count
- We may ask for a ‘call to action’ with a specific ask to make locally and/or at the state level
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
- Governor Kim Reynolds has signed a bill into law (SF512) that redirects existing money toward voluntary water quality programs in Iowa.
- The bill pledges about $280 million over the next 10 years to water quality improvements.Critics charge the new initiative will do little, arguing that without accountability and measurement to determine how much water quality improves money will largely be wasted.The bill’s quick passage and 50-minute floor debate is perhaps emblematic of the session.Legislative leaders and rank-and-file members appear determined to end session quickly by resolving outstanding issues fast.The tax reform debate and the budget discussions appear to be the only initiatives that will garner significant, Capitol-wide attention (from our lobbyists at Advocacy Strategies).
- Budget cuts for the whole state are coming and are estimated to be over $52 million
- IRR is monitoring a bill (HF2008) which would change WMA’s (Watershed Management Authorities) name to Watershed Management Partnerships.
- Many interest groups expressed disapproval for the bill and brought forward an amendment that would grandfather in existing WMAs to spare them from having to change their name.The bill didn’t advance, with legislators saying they wanted to give stakeholders time to work with Rep. Norlin Mommsen, the bill’s sponsor, who said he simply brought the bill to help ensure people are willing to participate in WMAs, arguing the word “authority” frightens some people away (AS).
Our top priority this session is to restore funding for Dam Mitigation and Water Trails. 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
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 the importance of dam mitigation and water trails and the revitalization, economic development and recreational opportunities that can result when we embrace our rivers and streams, and turn them into a safe and fun amenity for communities across Iowa.
Mark your Calendar:
- Postcard Signing Party at Confluence Brewery at 5 PM, Thursday, February 8th
- IWILL/Fund the Trust Lobby Day at the Capitol- Monday, February 12th
- 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