Good afternoon –
Yesterday’s Environmental Lobby Day was a HUGE success! There was broad representation and support form a range of different conservation and environmental organizations at the Rally. Thank you to those who were able to attend and send messages to their legislators in support of programs and funding that will improve our water resources and enhance Iowa’s natural resources.
We heard from Senator Bob Dvorsky that Senate will be recommending full funding for REAP - $20M - in their budget proposal today. This is great news and support from the Iowa Senate.
The IWILL legislation to increase the State sales tax by 3/8th of a cent (Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund) passed out of the Natural Resources subcommittee yesterday with a 3-2 (party line vote).
Your legislators need to hear from you about your support for both of these initiatives. The time is now! The momentum is rising to increase programs and funding for natural resources. Your contacts can make a difference.
Delhi: there is a new bill (SSB 163) that has been presented in the House that would waive the requirement for fish passage in rebuilding the Delhi Dam AND waiving the requirement that property owners sign easements recognizing the potential for flood incidents in the event of a dam failure (therefore eliminate any State liability).
Understanding Why Fish Passage Is Required When Lake Delhi Dam is Rebuilt
Dam Mitigation and Water Trails: this program funding provides support for a range of projects that will address dam safety concerns and assist communities interested in water trail development and continued maintenance of existing water trails. If you haven’t had a chance to communicate your support to continue to fund this appropriation, please contact these key legislators.
Senate Majority Leader Michael E. Gronstal and House Majority Leader Linda L. Upmeyer
Senate Committee Members: Matt McCoy-Chair, Daryl Beall,-Vice Chair, Tim L. Kapucian-Ranking Member
House Committee Members: Daniel A. Huseman-Chair, Dave Maxwell-Vice Chair, Dennis M. Cohoon-Ranking Member
LOBBYIST REPORT from Don Brazelton
SSB 1117, SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE MEETING ON SALES TAX INCREASE FOR THE NATURAL RESOURCES TRUST FUND. Senator Dearden introduced his bill to increase the sales tax to fund the Natural Resources Trust Fund and will hold a subcommittee meeting on February 26 at 8:00 am in Room 22 located behind the Senate chambers. February 26 is also the Conservation/Environmental Day at the Capitol. SNR subcom-Dearden, Black, Hogg, Greiner, Zumbach.
Senator Dearden said legislators are not hearing from constituents on the sales tax bills, SSB 117 and HF 92. He knows the bill faces a major uphill battle, but if people aren’t contacting their legislators it will never pass. It would be helpful to make your contacts before the S subcom meets on SSB 117, Tues, Feb 26 @ 8 am.
WIRB. The chair of the Watershed Improvement Review Board gave a presentation to the HEPC. He outlined the past funding for the Board, an overview of projects completed and a request for funding in FY ’14. The Governor’s budget for WIRB is $0.
HF 92, SSB 1117, NATURAL RESOURCES SALES TAX. Increases the state sales tax by 3/8 of a cent for the Natural Resources Trust Fund established in the Iowa Constitution. HWM subcom-Windschitl, Isenhart, Sands. Unlikely for the bill to be taken up according to Isenhart. SNR subcom-Dearden, Black, Hogg, Greiner, Zumbach.
HF 219, EMINENT DOMAIN. Prohibits condemnation of a property on the state registry of historic properties unless by the DOT. Prohibits a property on the registry to be condemned, except by 2/3 vote of the General Assembly, except by DOT. Allows for alternate standards to use to determine the acres needed for a lake for drinking water. Requires a second review if the 25% of the landowners to be condemned, sign a petition requesting such a review by an engineer of their choice. Adds reasonable attorney fees and costs, up to $100,000 to reimburse property owners in lake condemnation proceedings. Requires the offer of a sale to the prior owner if work on a lake has not progressed within two years. Prohibits local option sales taxes to used on projects related to lake condemnations, unless approved by an election. Prohibits the DNR from using condemnation for recreation projects. HJ subcom met. An amendment striking Sec 6 and part of Sec 7 will be offered in HJC. Representative Kaufmann stated that taking a person’s property should be extremely hard and in all cases he is opposed to condemnation for recreation purposes.
HSB 163, REBUILDING DAMS. Establishes standards for reconstructing dams destroyed in natural disasters. Requires only the same flooding easements held prior to the damage if the former pool elevation. Prohibits DNR from requiring a fishway for such a dam if the spillway is more than 30 feet in elevation. HEP subcom-Hein, Anderson, J. Smith.
SF 125, HUNTING & FISHING FEES. Increases various fees related to resident hunting, fishing and trapping licenses, for the wildlife habitat fee, trout fishing and migratory game bird fees, for HUSH and the writing fees paid to license agents. SNR subcom-Black, Dearden, Rozenboom.The bill’s link: http://coolice.legis.iowa.gov/Cool-ICE/ ... bill=SF125
SF 146, HF 155, HF 275, WATERCRAFT FEES. Extends the requirement that increases from raising watercraft registration fees be used for aquatic invasive plant control, navigation laws and water safety to 2023. Eligible for S debate. HF in HWMC. HF 275 strikes the sunset date making the transfer permanent.
SF 192, RIVER CHANNEL CHANGES. Allows county supervisors or the IDOT to make a river channel changes in conjunction with a highway project in order to prevent flooding outside of the highway right-of-way. Requires the use of eminent domain procedures. ST subcom-Danielson, Dvorsky, Kapucian.
HF 128, FRACKING RULES. Prohibits the DNR from allowing drilling for oil or gas involving hydraulic fracturing (fracking) unless rules are adopted rules on its use. Requires that rules must be requested before the EPC proceeds on the matter. Requires a fee schedule be adopted for permits. HEP subcom-Klein, Maxwell, Kelley.
HF 229, DISTRESSED WATERSHEDS. Adds one member and 4 ex-officio legislative members to the Water Resources Coordinating Council while removing those same members from the Watershed Planning Advisory Council. The Council is to review, amend, and approve the state nutrient reduction strategy. Adds seven members to the WPA Council. Requires the DNR to develop rules to identify and designate distressed subwatersheds by July ‘14 and establish goals to reduce pollution. Requires farm owners in a distressed watershed to develop a water stewardship plan, approved by the Dept of Ag and submitted to the DNR. HEP subcom-Klein, Isenhart, Maxwell. The bill was offered as an amendment on another bill in the HEPC, but was rejected. Bill sponsor Representative Isenhart does not believe the bill will be taken up by the HEPC.
HSB 87, MANURE HANDLING COURSES. Requires DNR to develop an educational course containing practical, cost-effective methods to limit manure spills and their impact. Requires DNR to make continuing education course available on the Internet. Amended & passed HAgC. The amendment stipulates that the requirement to put the course on the Internet only if the General Assembly provides money to the DNR to develop the programming for the Internet.
SF 24, SF 176 (similar), NPDES SIGNS. Requires an NPDES permit holder for non-storm water discharges to maintain a sign at points of discharge to surface waters. Includes specifications for the sign. Establishes penalties and allows waivers. Does not require the sign for feedlot operators or CAFOs. SAg subcom-Seng, Hart, Zumbach. SF 176 in SNR subcom-Bolkcom, Black, Rozenboom.
SF 165, WATER PLANS. Appropriates $200,000 FY ’13 supplemental to ISU Extension for emergency conservation measure education. Appropriates $500,000 FY ’13 to the DNR for water plans. Requires water systems to report annually on water usage and supplies. Allows the Env Protection Comm to require more frequent reporting. Effective on enactment. SNR subcom-Hogg, Black, Breitbach.
LAWMAKER CONTACT INFORMATION
Governor Terry Branstad: 515.281.5211 or http://www.governor.iowa.gov/contact/
Iowa General Assembly (find a bill): http://www.legis.iowa.gov/index.aspx
Iowa Senators and Representatives: Find your legislators (if you would like a spreadsheet of all the current legislators, please let me know)
Iowa Senate: 515.281.3371
Iowa House: 515.281.3221
IRR CALENDAR – keep informed about river-related activities, events and conferences: http://iowarivers.org/get-involved/calendar/.
Please share this legislative update with individuals, organizations or groups that would be interested in receiving this information.
Iowa Rivers Revival
PO Box 72, Des Moines, IA 50301
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.iowarivers.org