From Senator Rich Taylor

Written by Theresa Rose on April 11, 2019

Budget shortchanges natural resources and quality of life

Iowa’s Agriculture & Natural Resources Budget (SF 609) passed the Senate on a party-line vote and is now under consideration in the House. I voted “no” on the bill because it underfunds key opportunities to preserve, conserve and improve our land and water quality.

Iowa’s popular Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program is one example. REAP brings together a broad coalition of hunting, fishing, conservation, recreation and environmental organizations. The program was started in 1989 with the goal of putting $20 million a year into enhancing and protecting the state’s natural and cultural resources for generations to come.

The budget approved this week falls $8 million short of that longstanding, bipartisan goal. That’s bad news for our efforts to improve recreational opportunities across the state.

It means inadequate support for such REAP initiatives as:

  • Open spaces to permanently protect and develop public lands and waters.
  • Soil and water conservation, including efforts to improve urban soil practices and water quality projects.
  • Competitive grants to develop public areas, outdoor recreation and natural habitat.
  • Grants for historical preservation and country schools.

 

 

 

Additional information

This is a legislative update from State Senator Rich Taylor, representing Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties. For bio, photos and further information, go to www.senate.iowa.gov/senator/taylor.

To contact Senator Rich Taylor when the Legislature is in session, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise he can be reached at 319-931-1568. E-mail him at rich.taylor@legis.iowa.gov.

Senator Rich Taylor is an Assistant Leader. He serves on the following committees: