Kapucian Korner by Senator Tim Kapucian
Greetings from Under the Golden Dome
Those of us in agriculture know the livelihood of Iowa farmers depends on responsible land stewardship.
In 2011, the Watershed Task Force called upon the 12 states along the Mississippi River to develop their own nutrient reduction strategy. Working together, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences developed a proposed strategy.
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a science and technology-based framework that was designed to assess and reduce nutrients in Iowa waters and the Gulf of Mexico. It involves reducing both nitrogen & phosphorus loading to the Gulf of Mexico by 45 percent following the recommended framework provided by the Environmental Protection Agency. The strategy encourages voluntary efforts to reduce nutrients in surface water from both point and nonpoint sources in a scientific, reasonable, and cost-effective manner.
Point Source is defined as a specific site where water contaminants enter a body of water, like a sewer pipe or city storm sewer. Non-point Source would be a less defined area such as a field, farm, or an entire watershed.
Iowa’s nutrient reduction strategy is the first time an integrated approach involving voluntary efforts for both point and nonpoint sources has been attempted, and Iowa is only the second state to complete a statewide nutrient reduction strategy. Iowa’s commitment to responsible land stewardship and original responses to problems will keep Iowa’s economy strong. We know this stewardship of our resources is the right thing to do for our state and our environment.
The Senate committees continue to work on mental health reform, Medicaid expansion, property tax reform and education reform. I believe that the education bills will get done first so that the schools can get their budgets certified for next year by April 15th.
We haven’t had much floor debate this week. A bill in the Senate needs 26 votes to pass. The majority party has 26 members so when one or more are missing the only bills that are brought to the floor are the non-controversial, bipartisan bills. Just like back home we have many missing due to illness. Once we get through the major part of cold and flu season and we get back to a full complement of Senators I expect heavy floor debate.