This week was shortened due to the caucuses on Monday. While the national spotlight on Iowa diminishes, we remain vigilant in our duties in the state legislature.
After the gigantic success of the black and white license plates, as you might guess many new alternative plates are being proposed. As a matter of fact, we passed a bill, SF 2026, called the Red, White, and Blue plate, that is supportive of SW Iowa flood victims. We also passed out SSB 3101 which requires counties install rumble strips where county highways cross a state highway. The impetus for this bill came from a tragic accident in Benton County resulting in the loss of Baylee Hess. Anything we can do to help avoid these type of accidents is a plus. The bill was expedited through the process and received a unanimous vote out of committee. Our sympathies go out to family and friends of Baylee and I hope we can prevent future fatalities at intersections like this.
In the Natural Resources Committee we had a visit with Kayla Lyon, the new director appointed to manage the Department of Natural Resources. Additionally, this year is the 100th anniversary of the state park system here in Iowa. On May 28, 1920, Backbone State Park in northeast Iowa was established. We have 83 state parks in the state. The department is planning multiple events at the parks throughout the year. Plans are also in place to plant 100 new trees in each state park this summer. Iowa Public Television will be airing a show at 6:30 pm on March 4 on Iowa’s state parks. These parks are here for all of us to enjoy so take advantage, especially this summer as we celebrate this anniversary. For more information go to Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
In Agriculture I expect to see us establish an online private pesticide applicators license renewal process. This program would be an interactive online training session you could access from home on your schedule. Also, there is discussion of expanding protections of the grain indemnity fund to extend to cover deferred sales. These discussions and many more continue to take place and move forward throughout these 100 days of session.
See you out and about the district.