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Year-round access to E-15 nationwide is a no-brainer

Every month, when Iowa families look over their finances and put together a budget, the price of gas is always an unpredictable factor in spending decisions. While people in urban centers have access to other transportation options, in rural Iowa, we drive – everywhere. Going to work, driving to church, seeing friends in other communities and taking our kids to school and practice all require a car – and in the wintertime, an electric vehicle just won’t cut it.

Keeping tabs on aviation

Q: What’s your recent work on behalf of Iowa airports and sustainable aviation fuel?

2024 session nearing its end

Technically this was the last full week, while the 100 days of this 2024 session conclude on Tuesday, April 16. In reality, we still have budgets to work on through the Appropriations Committee, in addition to several bills waiting to come to the floor in Ways and Means. So, there is no guarantee we will adjourn by that date. In the meantime, this week we focused on moving bills off the floor on to the governor’s office and moving eligible bills through committee for next week.

Governor signs bill on foreign ownership of land into law

This week, Gov. Reynolds signed into law legislation to strengthen Iowa’s laws on ownership of Iowa’s agricultural land by nonresident aliens. Senate File 2204 easily passed with bipartisan support with a vote of 95-0 in the House of Representatives. The new law increases reporting requirements, increases enforcement of current laws and authorizes the Attorney General's office to investigate reports of potential violations of Iowa's laws concerning foreign ownership.

Kindness and understanding needed while considering turbines

Look, I want lean, beneficial, affordable, resourceful wind energy just like everyone else.

But, from what I've experienced and researched in the past decades, what these wind turbines offer is just an ideology or an illusion at best. They do not benefit us as a community and are self-serving only to those who are receiving financial gains at the expense of the negative health effects of residents and the natural habitat.

Strategy for overcoming chaos

By Barb Dean, Living Word Outreach Ministries

DCEF grant aids Maser Monarch Lodge improvements

Dear Editor,

Senate passes protections for required use of herbicide labels

This week in the Iowa Senate, we had three days of debate, committee work and continued to focus on the FY 2025 state budget. As chair of the Administration and Regulation budget subcommittee, I presented SSB 3199 to the Appropriations Committee this week and saw it pass through both subcommittee and committee. This starts the discussion between both chambers as we set budget priorities that are prudent and fiscally conservative.

Welcome tough conversations during Sexual Assault Awareness Month to support Iowa survivors

There are some topics that are difficult to discuss. One of those topics is sexual assault. April is nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and provides an opportunity for us to embrace uncomfortable conversations to support victims of this crime.

Donate life


Q: What federal law did you steer through Congress to improve the nation’s organ transplant system?

A: Nearly 20 years ago, I launched an oversight investigation from the Senate Finance Committee to keep check on the nation’s organ donation system. For too long, I heard far too many stories of patients who lost their lives due to negligence and abuse of the system.

Growing and strengthening Iowa’s workforce

On my 36 County Tour, workforce issues and labor shortages are topics of constant and repeated concern when I’m meeting with farmers, small business owners, manufacturers, childcare centers, hospitals and other enterprises. With so many job openings in Iowa and nationwide, we need to do everything possible to help our businesses, manufacturers and hospitals hire, train and retain quality employees.

House passes Iowa Rural Development Tax Credit Program

House File 2674 passed the floor unanimously this week and would create the Iowa Rural Development Tax Credit Program. Tax credits would be awarded by IEDA for specific capital contributions made to certified rural business growth funds for investment in qualified businesses.

An image of heaven

By Paul Kaldahl - First English Lutheran Church, Spencer

Have you heard this one? A guy is seated in an airplane that is going to Detroit. The woman, sitting next to him, sees that this guy looks a little worried and asks, “Is this your first flight?” The man responds, “No, I flown many times.” “Why do you look so troubled?” The guy said, “My company is moving me to Detroit.” It’s difficult to market a place like Detroit.

Texas-style crackdown on illegal immigration goes to the governor

Until the Biden Administration does its job to protect our nation’s borders, states are stepping up to the challenge. Border states, like Texas, have passed legislation to permit the arrest of those who enter the state when they are not legally allowed to be in the country.

Education bill passes as budget work continues

This week was extremely busy with debate as well as advancing the governor’s appointees out of standing committees. I am also in the process of reviewing the appropriation budget bills that relate to the total state budget, and more specifically, the Administration and Regulations appropriations for state departments and agencies. These bills are being worked on and will be going to the floor soon for debate and passage.

The Farm Bill is a strong investment in American agriculture

The Farm Bill is an important investment in our hardworking farmers and producers, the competitiveness of American agriculture and the strength of our economy. From trade, energy and conservation to crop insurance, rural development and access to affordable credit, every title of the Farm Bill touches a critical component for agriculture and our rural communities.

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