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Weekly Update: March 8 – First Funnel!

The first funnel frenzy at the Iowa Statehouse has passed.Today marks the deadline when a bill must pass out of at least one committee to be eligible for further debate. That means many of our People and Planet First priorities are technically done for the session. But the week didn’t pass without some big push back.  A bill being backed by the Iowa Farm Bureau – House File 542 and Senate File 548 (formerly Senate Study Bill 1221) – met tough opposition when over 200 everyday folks turned out to pack sub-committee and committee hearings on the bill. These bills would end some of the critical programs that help individuals and local governments move land into conservation. Why is Iowa Farm Bureau pushing this? (Don’t they love tax breaks and voluntary incentives for programs?) The truth is Farm Bureau won’t be happy until every acre in Iowa is being mined for everything it can produce, and programs like these – that support conservation – are a threat...

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Weekly Update: Feb. 22, 2019

What a week! Yesterday, I got to spend the day with 75 clean water fighters at the Capitol. It was great to stand beside so many people, from across the state, to lobby for our shared future.  Our big push of the day was lobbying for House File 203, our factory farm moratorium bill. Together we lobbied over 15 key legislators and held a press rally with two of our bill sponsors and Des Moines Water Works’ Bill Stowe. And, over 100 of you weighed in from home by calling Rep. Dean Fisher (R- Tama Co) asking him to assign HF 203 to a sub-committee. Thank you!  Tuesday was a big day for members in Story County. In the afternoon, we supported Story Co. Supervisor’s appeal of a factory farm permit before the DNR’s Environmental Protection Commission (EPC). In the evening, 150 of you turned out to a meeting where the Board of Supervisors voted to become the 25th county in the state to pass a resolution calling for changes to how Iowa issues...

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More power grabs from utility companies are on the way

Iowa’s two largest, for-profit, monopoly energy utilities, MidAmerican Energy and Alliant Energy, are at it again.  There are already two greedy utility power-grab proposals in the works at the Iowa Statehouse. The first: Senate Study Bill 1036 (SSB 1036) This bill aims to undermine the independence and expertise of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA). The OCA are the people’s lawyers. They work to represent us – Iowa utility customers – on utility costs and provide oversight on Iowa’s monopoly utilities. Utilities don’t like OCA’s oversight power – or any oversight, really – as it can get in the way of their policy attempts to line their already deep profit pockets.I encourage you to give Bleeding Heartland’s coverage of SSB 1036 a read: Key GOP lawmaker seeking to gut Iowa’s consumer advocate. In...

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