Don’t let Iowa Legislature rest

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: December 16 2013 | 1:34 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 12:55 am in
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Todd Dorman (“Skimpy expectations will greet the Legislature in 2014,” Dec. 10) says we shouldn’t expect much from the Iowa Legislature in their 2014 session — that they’ll probably just rest on their “accomplishments” from 2013, “tweak” a few things, and then be happily off to campaign for re-election.

Aside from more business tax breaks and legalizing the dove hunt, I’m hard-pressed to think of anything our legislators have accomplished in their last two sessions.

In 2008, Iowa had 542 impaired rivers, lakes and streams. In 2013, that number rose to 628. The Department of Natural Resources does not have the inspectors (or direction from the Legislature) to do more than perfunctory permitting of manure storage lagoons.

And while legislators continue to talk about “local control” for siting hog lots, they’ve done zero to make that happen.

This year, we had record Iowa soil loss to erosion.

Our soil is our future, but the legislative response has been zero. Our bridges and roads continue to deteriorate, but our legislators have no plans for fixing them.

Our schools remain second rate, but our legislators don’t seem to be bothered by that either.

If Iowans let this Legislature run on its track record, they deserve what they get.

Jim Walters

Iowa City

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