Another piece of "feel good legislation" was a bill dealing with the amount of methane generated in landfills by excess food waste. It is estimated that 15% of landfill volume is food waste. The bill requires the Iowa Waste Reduction Center to cooperate with the DNR to promote the recovery of excess food items. The bill defines what an excess food item is and requires the DNR to promote the reductions of waste food. The DNR shall submit a report that identifies barriers to the recovery of the items and requires the consultation with interested persons. The DNR shall submit a report to the GA by January 1, 2015. Many believe that the bill is not needed because restaurants and other food establishments are already reducing food wastes to help the bottom line based on the high cost of food and the need to control costs. This also passed on a party line vote and moves to the House.
The Senate continues to work on the various components of the appropriations process. Senate Democrats continue the push for an overall appropriations package that adds up to an 11% increase in state spending for fiscal year 2014, while Senate Republicans remain focused on fiscal restraint. The battle continues.
We still have a lot of work to do on tax reform. The House has passed their version of income tax reform, and the Senate Republicans are working on that as well. Also, work continues on property tax reform in committee. More information about that will be in later newsletters.
Please feel free to contact me on those things that matter to you, or take the time to come up to the Capitol for a visit. You are always welcome to participate in the process.
Senator Ken Rozenboom