What a beautiful weekend we are going to have in North Iowa… just what us mothers ordered! Congratulations to all the NIACC graduates. I am excited to have been asked to attend tonight, and able to congratulate the graduates firsthand.|From Rep. Sharon Steckman
What a beautiful weekend we are going to have in North Iowa… just what us mothers ordered!
Congratulations to all the NIACC graduates. I am excited to have been asked to attend tonight, and able to congratulate the graduates firsthand. Below is a quick look at what we did last week. We are still waiting for some resolution and collaboration to finish the session this year. I will keep you updated.
In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful weather and Happy Mothers’ Day to all you mothers out there. Enjoy!
With Iowa already being a world leader in biofuels, we approved a bill to enhance Iowa’s biofuels industry. Current law sets a goal to replace 25% of petroleum in gasoline with ethanol and biodiesel by January 1, 2020. The bill will increase the use of renewable fuels and reduce our dependence on foreign oil by offering retail gas stations and producers tax incentives to sell and produce more renewable fuels. The bill includes the new 15 percent ethanol blend (E15), 85 percent ethanol (E85), and biodiesel.
If a bill adopted by the House and Senate is signed into law, the current 17 casinos and racetracks will no longer be required to hold a county referendum election every eight years. The bill does allow a reverse referendum election if citizens can get 10 percent of the voters of the previous general election to sign a petition to hold the election.
Iowa’s mental health system is fractured and in need of desperate redesign. Over the past three years, the Legislature has been looking at making services more equitable across Iowa and addressing the ever growing costs to provide needed services. This year, the desire to implement redesign of the system has reached a pinnacle. Under a proposal being considered by the Legislature, the state will look at ways to streamline funding and create a more sustainable funding system for the state and counties.
Another bill approved this week will stop residential contractors that prey on people who have received damage from severe weather or fire.
In an effort to clean up and redevelop unused property, the House has also approved an expansion of the brownfield redevelopment tax credits. Brownfields are sites that are contaminated by real or perceived environmental pollution but the tax credits can also be used for greyfields, which are economically outdated or underused lands.
Iowans interested in attending the Education Summit on July 25 and 26th can now register on-line at http://iowaeducation.iowa.gov/education-summit. Speakers include US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Chair of the National Assessment Governing Board Dr. David Driscoll.
State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds announced a new web-based reporting system that can be used by all of Iowa’s fire departments to report fires will be available within the next 60 days. The new system will make it easier for fire departments to report fires and help develop fire prevention strategies.