Weekly Column

Field needs to be leveled for family farmers

Sen. Grassley (IA) and Rep. Fortenberry (NE) are standing up for family farmers in very tough times. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced they plan to release regulations this year addressing payments to family farms. These payments offer essential support to family farmers, but current loopholes are exploited by the largest farms that sometimes receive hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in payments.

Watershed planning is key for Iowa water quality

In 2018, the Iowa Legislature passed a law that gives $282 million for water quality projects over the next 12 years. While these funds help initiate new projects and build up existing efforts, more money is not the only way to improve water quality. Instead, lawmakers should put a premium on encouraging local control.

Delaying expansion will cost Nebraska hundreds of millions

When Nebraska voters expanded Medicaid coverage last November, they recognized not only the health benefits of expanded insurance coverage, but also the economic impact of it. Expansion is estimated to stimulate nearly $1.3 billion in economic activity in the first three years of implementation. Yet, Nebraska remains nearly a year and a half away from realizing these benefits.

U.S. wind energy generates more than $1 billion in tax revenue, payments

The number of Americans receiving their electricity from renewable wind energy grew rapidly in 2018, with enough installed capacity to power more than 30 million homes. With more projects currently in development, total wind capacity in the U.S. is projected to grow to 131,000 megawatts (MW), or enough to power about 42 million homes and increase the percentage of energy that states receive from wind.

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