The Capitol Report by Rep. Curt Hanson
Week 15 of Iowa Legislature.
On April 19, the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce honored Jodi Kerr and Patrick Doyle, two outstanding citizens, at the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet. As a member of the Chamber, I was impressed with the number of new businesses and the expansion of established firms recognized at this event!
As debate got underway on April 23, the Infrastructure Budget was debated. I supported an amendment that would aid in the funding of Iowa’s Great Places. After an arduous application process, Fairfield and the Villages of Van Buren County have both received the designation of an Iowa Great Place! Tourism and jobs are expanded upon being named an Iowa Great Place. This budget also includes funding for historical building renovation.
The Education Budget Bill will now be sent to a conference committee. There is a $69.2 million difference between the House and Senate versions. I was named to the conference committee and will work to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions.
I supported an amendment to the agriculture and DNR budget that would provide $250,000 of funding to the Southern Iowa Development and Conservation Authority (a 10-county authority including Davis, Jefferson, and Van Buren counties). The $250,000 funding would have been used to leverage additional funds enabling the continuation of watershed and road improvements in our area. We have a number of small narrow bridges that are very old and have limits unsuited to modern farming practices. When we reduce soil erosion, improve our water quality and improve our county roads with the same money, it is a win for all! Unfortunately, the amendment was not adopted.
We are scheduled to adjourn on May 3, so things are moving closer to resolution. We still have a lot of work to complete before we can adjourn for the year. The biggest piece of the state budget is the Health and Human Services budget, and we have yet to even see a House budget. The delay may be due to a divisive, extreme social agenda some are pursuing on women’s health care.
When we conclude this session, our budget will be balanced and we will have a large reserve on hand. It is my hope to help the recovery reach all corners of the state.
Feel free to contact me with any thoughts and concerns by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 641-919-2314.