The session will be extended for another week. We are still waiting for the Senate to act on the budget bills we sent over several weeks ago. We did move a couple of priority bills for the Governor this week. I hope next week is the week things start to move but the ball is in the Senate’s court.
Supporting Iowa’s Renewable Fuels Industry
This week the House supported Iowa farmers and sent House File 2128 to the Governor for her signature. I managed the bill since the Governor made it one of her priorities last year. We met with the stakeholders throughout the session and into the summer. The bill was redrafted this session with much input from the groups. It represents a lot of compromise over a two year period of time.
The renewable fuels bill requires dealers with compatible infrastructure to offer E-15. It does provide for waivers from this access standard in certain situations. The bill makes changes to retailer fuel tax credits as well as fuel production tax credits. Additionally, the bill makes changes to the renewable fuel infrastructure program. The bill ensures maximum choice at the pump for the Iowa consumer, by guaranteeing higher blend renewable fuel availability at the pump.
The final changes include creating a new exemption for small stations that sell less than 300,000 gallons of gasoline based on a 3-year average. It also increases cost-share percentages and grant amounts for retailers who sell less than 450,000 gallons of gasoline.
There is no doubt E15 is less expensive than E10 and promoting this product will save Iowans money. But promoting this product will also support Iowa farmers and Iowa jobs. I enjoyed working on one of the Governor’s top priorities along with Senator Brown to get it to the Governor for her to sign.
Making Unemployment a Re-Employment System
- We’re facing a workforce shortage in Iowa and across the country. We need our state’s unemployment system to serve as a reemployment system.
- This week, the House passed HF 2355 which makes a number of reasonable reforms to Iowa’s unemployment insurance system.
- This is the second time the House has passed the bill, but it now has both chambers’ approval and is headed to the Governor’s desk for her signature.
- This bill shortens the amount of time Iowans can collect unemployment from 26 weeks to 16 weeks.
- If unemployment is due to plant closure, the weeks are reduced from 39 to 26.
- This bill does not change who is required to search for employment in order to receive unemployment benefits. However, if you are required to be looking for employment, the percentage of benefits you receive, if you refuse a job offer, will decrease.
- The bill does not include a one-week waiting period before you can receive unemployment benefits.
As Governor Reynolds said, the unemployment safety net has become more of a hammock. We need to ensure that government is not incentivizing Iowans to remain out of work, but instead incentivizing folks to return to the workforce as quickly as possible.
As always, if you have any concerns or thoughts on these or other issues, feel free to send me an email at email@example.com or give me a call at 319-480-1997.