It is Weekend Update time!
- Last week, Governor Reynolds released her tax bill (HSB 671/SSB 3195). As promised, the legislation eliminates Iowa’s federal deductibility while reducing individual income tax rates. It also applies sales tax to a wider swath of online transactions (Ex. Netflix subscriptions).
- A lot of legislators are retiring after this session. The deadline to file nomination papers with the Secretary of State’s office is in March, which is when we’ll have a full picture of 2018 retirements. Current legislators that have announced their retirement are listed below. If you see YOUR elected official, start thinking about who might be a good candidate…maybe it’s you!
- Guy Vander Linden (R)
- Dave Heaton (R)
- Ken Rizer (R)
- Clel Baudler (R)
- Ralph Watts (R)
- Chuck Holz (R)
- Rob Taylor (R)
- Rep Todd Taylor (D)- running for Wally Horn’s Senate seat
- Jerry Kearns (D)
- Hellen Miller (D)
- Abby Finkenauer (D) running for Congress in Iowa’s First District
- Matt McCoy (D)
- Wally Horn (D)
- Bob Dvorsky (D)
- Due to the chaotic schedule of our legislators up on the hill, the presentation to the RIIF committee (Transportation, Infrastructure, and Capitols Appropriations Subcommittee) has been moved to NEXT WEEK; Wednesday, February 28th at 10 AM in room 102 at the Capitol. This means there is STILL time to contact your legislator on the committee and talk about the importance of low-head dam mitigation and water trails (see below).
- 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.
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:
- Life in the Raccoon River: Regenerative Farming, Raccoon River Watershed Association at the Hotel Pattee, Perry – March 2nd and 3rd
- Second funnel deadline (week 10)- March 16th
- Environmental Lobby Day at the Capitol- 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:
- The Iowa Legislature Website
- 25 Ways to be More Politically Active
- The Des Moines Register – Politics
- Women for Water Website