Iowa House – Thomas Gerhold – February 29, 2020


This last week was a good week at the Capitol, and a good one for Iowans! As a member of the Agriculture Committee, we passed a bill that will create promote E-15 gasoline usage with an infrastructure program which provides incentives for E-15 storage and dispensing but doesn’t include pumps.

Hank Wehrman, Luzerne, visits Capitol to promote the REAP program.

The Iowa House passed House File 2383, which requires the University of Iowa Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry to admit at least 75% of the students who are residents of Iowa or have completed their undergrad here in the state. This should help increase the numbers of doctors and dentists here due to their Iowa roots. Students from other parts of the country, such as the east or west coasts don’t have the family ties that can be a strong reason to stay in Iowa. The University of Iowa is a state taxpayer-funded institution, and this will place the priorities of Iowa citizens first. All Republicans and only 2 Democrats voted for this.

Another bill which reduces government intrusion is House File 2238. During an overnight RAGBRAI stop in Coralville, police shut down several lemonade stands because these kids didn’t have a state permit to sell lemonade. Can you say government intrusion?

 Ray Richardson, Atkins, advocating 2nd Amendment rights.

I’m the floor manager for House File 2494, which repeals the Iowa Comprehensive Petroleum Underground Storage Tank (UST) Fund and phases out the board members that regulated it on July 1st, 2021. This program regulated and helped fund the cleanup of more than 8000 UST sites that were leaking or have leaked petroleum products. The number of tanks that are to be helped by this program is now down to 90 or less, from which the Department of Natural Resources will replace the UST Fund Board to finish the remaining tanks. The deadline to apply for financial assistance to remove an UST is December 31st, 2020.

On February 25th, I had the pleasure of meeting Haylee Huedepohl from Williamsburg, an Occupational Therapy student at Drake promoting Iowa Occupational Therapy Association Day. On Feb. 26th, I had a nice chat with Hank Wehrman, Luzerne, with the Benton County Soil & Water Conservation District, who was advocating for the Resource Enhancement And Protection (REAP) program. On Feb. 27th, Ray Richardson, Atkins, came to the State House to speak in support of HF2502, a bill preventing cities and counties from overstepping the law by trampling the rights of law-abiding citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights.

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