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Water quality hot topic early in legislative session

Photo courtesy of the Natural Rescources Conservation Service (NRCS)

AUDIO: Joel Brinkmeyer, Agribusiness Association of Iowa

The Agribusiness Association of Iowa (AAI) will host its annual legislative breakfast tomorrow. AAI CEO Joel Brinkmeyer says despite the tight budget, AAI will ask legislators for long-term water quality funding.

“We’re very interested in water quality issues,” Brinkmeyer said. “There is a bill that the House will possibly pickup soon, maybe as early as this week. It’s last year’s Senate File 512 Bill. We think it’s the right thing for agriculture, and right for the State of Iowa to pass the legislation. We’re trying to be proactive in agribusiness and focus on water quality.”

Brinkmeyer further explains Senate File 512, and talks about the bill’s specifics.

“This is long-term funding. It would avoid, hopefully, the interest every year in picking up a new bill – the Department of Agriculture or others trying to get single, specific legislation passed for water quality. This would be a very comprehensive bill with quite a bit of detail in it. It would lay out funding for both rural and urban infrastructure, and would be a long-lasting, sustainable bill,” Brinkmeyer said.

AAI will solely ask for long-term water quality funding this legislative session. However, the Association remains interested in state tax reform and hopes to learn more about state lawmakers’ stance on this topic.

“The other issue, with no real agenda in mind, is to learn what the discussion is about with changes in the tax law within the state of Iowa,” Brinkmeyer said. “Now that we’ve had federal tax reform, I think senators, representatives and the governor are trying to decide what the right direction is for the state. We want to make corporate laws more competitive in Iowa and take care of our individuals as well.”

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