The Bill of Rights of the Iowa Constitution states "all political power is inherent in the people." The current burdensome regulations, lack of tax relief, and reckless spending indicate many legislators have forgotten this important tenant of representative government. Requiring statements of Constitutional authority returns power to the people of Iowa by holding legislators accountable to the document from which they derive their representative power.
Greater accountability to Iowans will also occur when legislators are charged with providing statements of legislative intent in bills creating or expanding programs. Currently, if the language of a statue is unclear the courts are left to guess the intended consequences and goals of the legislation, often leading to far-reaching assumptions. Providing clear parameters and outlines for new or expanding programs sheds light on the lawmaking process, provides efficiencies, and enables a more representative government for Iowans.
Iowa Drought Preparations
Clean water is a precious commodity throughout the world and Iowa is fortunate to have an ample supply in most years. Iowans recognize the vital role that water plays in growing the economy and feeding the world. That is why the 2012 drought was particularly hard to stomach, as it affected everything from business and agriculture to municipal water supplies. Droughts have adverse effects on our state, and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and the Department of Natural Resources work diligently each year to provide accurate precipitation predictions.
Last year statewide precipitation was about nine inches below normal and the state experienced one of the worst droughts in half a century. The DNR is predicting that in 2013 Iowa will have another situation during which demand for water exceeds supply. It is important for Iowa to be appropriately prepared for a natural disaster of this sort.
Although never previously used, the Iowa DNR has in place a water permit system to assure water rights in times of drought. The permits are tied to land ownership and are needed if an excess of 25,000 gallons of water a day is extracted from streams and aquifers. The DNR takes into consideration the effect on the natural flow and the river's established average minimum flow. During drought, priority permits may be obtained for rural and municipal water systems, livestock producers, traditional crop producers, producers of power generation and commercial and industrial facilities.