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Coalition forming to push Iowa fuel tax hike; Jochum next Iowa Senate president

Nov 19, 2012

Coalition forming to push Iowa fuel tax hike

DES MOINES (AP) ­ A coalition of farm and business groups is forming to push Iowa legislators for a 10-cent increase in state taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel.

Scott Newhard, of the Associated General Contractors of Iowa, told The Des Moines Register that he’s expecting support for the idea from the Iowa Farm Bureau, the Iowa Bankers Association and several other agriculture and business groups.

Newhard says the fuel tax increase is needed to address a $215 million annual funding shortfall for critical maintenance and improvements needed by Iowa’s road system.

Spokesman Tim Albrecht for Gov. Terry Branstad says Branstad would look favorably on raising tax revenue for roads and bridges only if the proposal were contained “within a broad, overall tax reform package that reduces taxes on all Iowans.”

 

Jochum next Iowa Senate president

DES MOINES (AP) — Democrats have chosen Dubuque Sen. Pam Jochum to be the Iowa Senate’s next president succeeding retiring Sen. Jack Kibbie, D-Emmetsburg.

The Senate president presides over the chamber and issues rulings on whether amendments to bills are germane.

Jochum served 16 years in the Iowa House before being elected to the Senate in 2008.

The 26 Democrats who make up the Iowa Senate’s incoming majority re-elected Sen. Mike Gronstal, of Council Bluffs, to remain majority leader.

The Democrats named Steve Sodders, of State Center, to be president pro tempore; Joe Bolkcom, of Iowa City, as majority whip; and Matt McCoy, of Des Moines, Wally Horn, of Cedar Rapids, Bill Dotzler, of Waterloo, and Amanda Ragan, of Mason City, as assistant majority leaders.

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