4/19 UPDATE: Budget Debate continues at the Statehouse. Please contact your legislator ASAP as they are aiming to possibly close session this week. SPEAK NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE!
On the chopping block at the Statehouse are the following proposals.
- Cut REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection) by 25% ($4 million cut)
- Cut CRP/State Buffer Initiative by 10% ($100,000 cut), eliminate and scoop remaining funds from Watershed Improvement Review Program
- Eliminate funding for dam safety mitigation & water trails ($1 million cut)
- Elimination of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
- $300,000 cut to the Iowa Flood Center
This reduction in funding will directly impact Clayton County.
On another note: Rep Hager and Bergan both support raising the sales tax 3/8 of cent to begin funding the Iowa Natural Resource and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. Republican lawmakers have been long time opponents to the funding the trust. This year, due to the projected budget deficits and momentum for the funding the trust, GOP lawmakers seem more inclined to raising the sales tax 3/8 cents to fund the Trust Fund. The Iowa Water and Land Legacy Act aims to improve water quality, protect soil, enhance wildlife habitat, and increase outdoor recreation opportunities throughout Iowa. The funding formula is displayed and explained well on this info sheet.
This formula was determined by a partnership between IDALS and IDNR along with several NGO’s.
A few years ago, the state legislature raised the gas tax 10 cents to address a crumbling rural road system. Raising the sales tax 3/8 of one cent would address many issues facing Clayton County and would perhaps counteract the proposed cuts mentioned above and overall address flood prevention measures.
Contact your own lawmakers and tell them Iowans shouldn’t have to pay for the GOP’s budget mess.