Iowa legislators reconvene this week. First on the agenda is expected to be a fast-tracked water quality bill. Critics say the bill is inadequate for providing short-term funding that fails to use a targeted watershed approach. Iowa’s water quality continues to decline as the legislature delays on creating a stable, dedicated funding source to improve it.
By limiting debate and rushing a bill, Iowans are missing an opportunity to deliver a water quality bill that includes:
- A dedicated, stable funding source through the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund;
- Required water quality monitoring at the watershed level with public data access;
- Funding and support for established Watershed Management Authorities and agencies who administer them; and
- An emphasis on local planning and control.
Voters approved the establishment of the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Fund in 2010, which remains unfunded. Despite public support, Republican majorities in the legislature are not interested in raising the sales tax to fund the trust. Senate File 512, which is expected to pass, does include a provision voiding its proposed funding structure if the sales tax is passed to fund the trust at a later date.
Your voice matters! Contact your legislators today.
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