Legislative Breakfast Gives Answers On AEA, Wind Energy.

A Legislative Breakfast took place at Mount Pleasant City Hall on Friday morning. On the panel were Iowa Representative Collins, Representative Shipley, Iowa Senator Dickey, and Senator Lofgren.

A big discussion point was hands-free driving. Currently, a bill regarding hands-free and traffic enforcement cameras has been proposed. According to Senator Dickey, most traffic cameras are “revenue generators”, though he did say that some places certainly do need cameras. He also mentioned how he is a big supporter of the hands-free driving bill, but it should not be limited to just phones. There are many other distractions that people give into while driving, such as eating and smoking. If the bill were to fail, either of the two proposed components could pass on their own eventually, since they both have separate bills.

A major issue in Iowa right now is the Governor’s AEA bill. According to the legislators, the bill did not pass through the house on the original proposal. They are working on their own proposal and are making progress. All of the legislators gave their input on the bill, with Senator Dickey mentioning how 72 people at our regional AEA make a package of over $100,000 a year. He believes the funds need to be better allocated, such as to para educators in the classroom.

It seems impossible to go a day in Henry County right now without hearing about wind energy. Recently, the Senate looked over a new bill, Senate Study bill 3169. This bill proposed letting the State set the guidelines for wind energy ordinances. Meaning, if the county proposed a change to the setback length of the wind turbines, it would have to adhere to the same standards that the State laid out. Representative Taylor Collins said he was happy that the bill died, as he believes everyone agrees that it should be up to the county, not the state.