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Senator Amanda Ragan outlines 3 recent initiatives that are good for Iowa

Amanda Ragan

The following is a legislative update from State Senator Amanda Ragan, representing portions of Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties:

1. $100 million for water improvements and conservation
The American Rescue Plan is investing in cleaner Iowa drinking water and a stronger economy, while curbing flooding and making our state a more attractive place to live and play.

*   $75 million to the Water Infrastructure Fund for projects that reduce chemicals in our waterways, limit drought and flood risks, improve public health, recycle water and make other investments in a vibrant Iowa future. To learn more about the program or apply for a grant, go to<>.

*   $25 million to the Conservation Infrastructure Initiative to improve water quality, habitat and recreation in the Iowa waterways that need it most. The goal is to bring together public and private resources to find cost-effective ways of improving our water. Learn more about Iowa’s Conservation Infrastructure projects and how you can get involved at<>.

2. Justice for victims
Iowa recently completed testing an enormous backlog of rape kits that had been sitting in law enforcement storage rooms for years.

With $3 million in grants from the Obama Administration, Iowa has made lasting changes to the way law enforcement and health care practitioners respond to and investigate sexual assaults. This is a big step forward in giving victims the justice they deserve.

The Iowa Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI), created in 2015, has:

*   Tested 1,606 rape kits, eliminating a backlog. New efficiencies have shortened the time it takes to process DNA evidence.

*   Overhauled the way kits are processed by implementing best practices for patient care and evidence collection.

*   Trained 2,355 Iowans in trauma-informed sexual assault response.

*   Ensured greater accountability to victims. A Track-Kit statewide reporting system now allows survivors to track their evidence kits as they move through the testing and investigation process.

Learn more about the initiative and find resources for survivors at<>.

3. Investing in critical needs
This framework will cut taxes for working families and lower the costs of health care and child care, while ensuring the most profitable corporations pay their fair share.

The legislation has passed the U.S. House, and is now under consideration in the U.S. Senate. Dozens of economists are encouraging<> Congress to pass Build Back Better because it will allow families to keep more money in their pockets.

While everyday Iowans have struggled through the pandemic, some of America’s biggest companies have continued raking in billions in profits but paid no federal income taxes in 2020, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy<>.

Build Back Better will change that, and move us toward a more equitable, sustainable economy that creates opportunity and allows all hard-working Iowans to go get ahead.

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