Weekly Column

Iowa’s solar compromise serves as national model

After a lengthy fight during the 2019 Iowa legislative session, a unique coalition of agriculture and environmental groups joined forces with MidAmerican Energy, the state’s largest investor-owned utility, to negotiate a consensus agreement to expand solar energy in Iowa.

Solar compromise illuminates bright future for rural Iowa

After a lengthy fight during the 2019 Iowa legislative session, a unique coalition of agriculture and environmental groups joined forces with MidAmerican Energy, the state’s largest investor-owned utility, to negotiate a consensus agreement to expand solar energy in Iowa. About a year later, the product of these conversations passed the Iowa House and Senate unanimously, and was signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds on March 12.

Census 2020: Why rural counts

By now, you have most likely received a postcard or letter in your mailbox inviting you to participate in the 2020 Census.

Set forth as an effort to count everyone in the U.S., the data collected as part of the census impacts everyone who is, or is not, counted. This includes babies and elders, citizens and non-citizens, urban and rural residents, and all other persons in between.

SB 157 undercuts local control

Local citizens deserve a chance to be fully informed and weigh in on proposed development in their communities.

Senate Bill 157, brought at the request of Gov. Noem and advanced in the Senate, erodes local control by restructuring the county zoning and appeals process in a way that removes the requirement of a public hearing for projects with special permitted use. Public hearings are one of the few avenues stakeholders have to provide comments to local officials on proposed projects, and they need to be preserved.

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