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Recent posts by Cody Smith

Iowa Legislative update - Feb. 25, 2020

Last week was the first funnel deadline in the Legislature, which means bills must have moved from House and Senate committees to the full floor for debate or they cannot move forward this session. Appropriations bills and Ways and Means Committee bills are not subject to these deadlines, as well as bills that moved through the funnel last year. A few of the bills we are monitoring failed to move forward. In all, we have registered for, against, or undecided on more than two-dozen bills which relate to water quality, renewable energy, economic development, and more.

Iowa Legislative update - Feb. 11, 2020

We are now entering the fifth full week of the 2020 legislative session. As legislators, agencies, the governor’s office, and committees have worked to introduce and review legislation, we’ve been engaging with them to make sure rural Iowans have a seat at the table. In all, we have registered for, against, or undecided on 19 bills which relate to water quality, renewable energy, economic development, and more.

As bills are introduced in the next few weeks, I will keep you informed on our lead initiatives and other key legislation we are following. For more updates and questions, or to get involved, please reply to this email or contact me at

Analysis: Our breakdown of Iowa’s IWILL proposal

On Jan. 14, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced her plans for the Invest in Iowa Act. Under this proposal, Reynolds is requesting the Legislature raise the sales tax in the state by one penny. Coupled with several tax cuts, including a minimum 10 percent income tax cut and property tax breaks for counties, this new funding includes the necessary three-eighths of one cent needed to fund the constitutionally-created Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust, also known as Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy or IWILL.

Iowa Legislative update - Jan. 28, 2020

The Iowa General Assembly has entered week three of the 2020 legislative session, this is the second year of the two-year assembly. Last Friday, Jan. 24, the deadline for individual representatives and senators to submit requests for bill and joint resolution drafts to the Legislative Services Agency passed. This means most bills this session have already been submitted. 

In our last update, we gave an overview of our priorities and expectations for the session. Fortunately, we’ve been able to achieve movement on a few top priorities. You will find updates on our key issues detailed below.

Native Vegetation and Solar Project

Across the U.S., the solar industry is booming. Solar project sites often occupy several acres of land and are projected to cover 3 million acres by 2030. To produce 10 percent of Iowa’s electricity from solar energy, 13,440 acres would need to be occupied by solar arrays—offering an opportunity for project owners to demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship.

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