It is Weekend Update time!
- 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)
- We were able to present to the Transportation, Infrastructure, and Capitals Appropriations Subcommittee about the budget line item to support funding for low-head dam mitigation and water trails. Travis Baker from the DNR and I talked about successful project, upcoming and planned projects and the positive economic impact that these projects bring to communities. There is a lot of pressure on the budget and cuts as well as de-appropriations are still coming so please contact your legislator ESPECIALLY if they are listed below and tell you story about the importance of this program to YOUR community.
- Iowa Water and Land Legacy/IWILL/Natural Resource and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund is still being talked about up at the Capitol. Contact your legislator today and encourage them to ‘Fund the Trust!’ Iowans overwhelmingly support this increase in sales tax to support natural resources and water quality improvement. The trust fund would generation over $180,000 annually for the state of Iowa and outdoor enthusiasts like you and me.
- 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
- IRR River Town of the Year Award reception in Elgin, Iowa- Friday, March 16th
- IRR River Town of the Year Award reception at the Capitol- Wednesday, March 21st
- 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: