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Rep. Steckman praises power line transmission project starting in Mason City

This news story was published on March 23, 2019.
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The following is a legislative update from Democratic Rep. Sharon Steckman, representing the middle-third of Cerro Gordo county in the Iowa Legislature:

A few legislators from the western edge of Iowa were not able to make it to the Statehouse this week due to problems with flooding.    The situation is really dire and I am especially concerned about the water supply in those areas and all of the issues that will take months and months to resolve.

If you plan to travel in the western part of the state, you can find information on road closings at the DOT website at

We have had several hours of debate this week on mostly non-controversial bills that both parties could fully support. Most were minor tweaks to laws or regulations with limited impact to the general public.

While the Senate has passed SF 237 that would change the way judicial nominations are handled, the corresponding HF 503 may not be brought up in the House. Apparently, there are currently not enough votes to pass it in this chamber.

I am excited about the Soo Green project happening in northern Iowa. I believe it will create and sustain jobs, and also will connect buyers and sellers of renewable energy. Some of the best wind resources in the world can be found in the upper Midwest and transmitting that power to areas where there is increasing demand is a win-win situation.

The project will begin in Mason City and connect to a substation in Illinois, burying 349 miles of transmission cable while using the railroad right of way. The trench will be 2.5 feet wide and 5 feet deep – a truly environmentally friendly endeavor. It is anticipated that 600 construction jobs will be created along with 200 permanent jobs.

Speaking of energy, there has been a great deal of misinformation circulated about solar energy and its impact on the utility bills that we all pay. Solar energy users already pay a connection fee every month; plus whatever energy they do not use is added to the grid, providing very low cost energy to the utility. It makes no sense to punish people who are providing most, if not all, of their own energy; are already paying for their connection to the grid; and are sustaining a growing industry that is creating jobs andenergy.

HF 690 was brought to the floor on Thursday. It creates a new structure to deliver mental health services to kids. The key to making this new system work will be investing the resources necessary to provide the services kids need. Unfortunately, the only plan we’ve seen from majority party lawmakers and the Governor so far is to take money from mental health services for adults and shift it to the kids’ program.

Last year, we passed legislation to improve mental health services for adults and the money did not follow. Therefore, I voted “no” on the bill and will continue to do so until it is funded. I definitely see the need for mental health services to kids…but not if it is an unfunded program that will do no one any good or borrows from another already underfunded program.   Just passing a bill for show is not what you sent me to the Statehouse to do.

Saturday, March 30
Mason City Public Library

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3 Responses to Rep. Steckman praises power line transmission project starting in Mason City

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 26, 2019 at 8:22 am

    Once the monopoly power company has exhausted it’s billions of Iowa taxpayer subsides they come home tothe individual home owner to fleece (screw) them 25% increase -these pukes should be tarred and feathered and the elected officials getting pay off should be in prison.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 25, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    ……..and not enough crickets broke the silence of nobody giving a shit what she thinks.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 25, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      The only cricket around here is you. You just chirp, chirp chirp and no one cares.