# Floods



Hinson tries to have it both ways on budget bill

U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson is at it again.

In January 2022, the Republican made news in Iowa and nationally when she took credit for “game-changing” projects in her district, despite having voted against the infrastructure bill that made them possible.

Hinson is closing out the year by bashing the “wasteful spending” in an omnibus budget bill, while boasting about her success in “securing investments for Iowa” through the same legislation.

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Thoughts on Iowa's water supply, ag runoff

John Norwood is a Polk County Soil and Water Commissioner.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette held an hour-long water quality panel last week as part of their ongoing Iowa Ideas series. Gazette columnist Todd Dorman moderated the panel, which included University of Iowa Research Engineer Chris Jones, Iowa Environmental Council staff attorney Michael Schmidt, and myself, a Polk County Soil and Water Commissioner elected in 2018.

We spoke about Iowa’s water quality challenges within the context of operating one of the world’s most productive agricultural systems, including 23 million acres of corn and soybean row crops. Dorman summarized highlights from the discussion, and the full replay is available on YouTube:

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Inaction on climate change in 2019 will be costly for Iowans

Floyd Gardener of the Progressive Minds of Iowa and Tyler Granger of the National Wildlife Federation co-authored this commentary. -promoted by Laura Belin

Iowa experienced enormous natural disasters in 2019, and climate change accelerated the devastation. 

The National Wildlife Federation released an interactive national climate disaster report in November, which illustrated that Iowa’s historic floods and extreme heat were attributable to climate change. The report also predicted continued disastrous weather conditions as the effects of climate change continue to build.

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Recognizing Bleeding Heartland's talented 2019 guest authors

More than 125 authors contributed to the 290 guest posts Bleeding Heartland published this calendar year–way up from the 202 pieces by about 100 writers in 2018 and the 164 posts by 83 writers the year before that. I’m immensely grateful for all the hard work that went into these articles and commentaries and have linked to them all below.

You will find scoops grounded in original research, such as John Morrissey’s exclusive reporting on Sedgwick landing a lucrative contract to administer Iowa’s worker’s compensation program for state employee, despite not submitting the high bid.

The most-viewed Bleeding Heartland post this year was Gwen Hope’s exclusive about the the Hy-Vee PAC donating $25,000 to the Iowa GOP, shortly before President Donald Trump headlined a Republican fundraiser at Hy-Vee’s event center in West Des Moines.

Several commentaries about major news events or political trends were also among the most widely read Bleeding Heartland posts of 2019. I’ve noted below pieces by Ed Fallon, Tim Nelson, Bruce Lear, Randy Richardson, J.D. Scholten, Dan Guild, State Senator Claire Celsi, and others that were especially popular. (This site has run more than 630 pieces since January 1.)

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Vulnerable communities hit harder by floods, slower to recover

Residents of low-income communities are more likely to suffer property damage from floods but less likely to be fully compensated for losses and also less likely to benefit from flood mitigation efforts, according to a report the Iowa Policy Project published on December 12.

University of Iowa graduate student Joseph Wilensky wrote “Flooding and Inequity: Policy Responses on the Front Line” (click here for the summary and here for the full text). His focus was on “frontline communities”:

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Climate action at the Latino Heritage Festival: How you can help

Tyler Granger works for the Iowa Wildlife Federation. -promoted by Laura Belin

2019 has been a disappointing year for environmental protections, from the Trump administration allowing drilling in the Arctic Circle to Congress failing to renew the Endangered Species Act.

This year’s Iowa Climate Strike was a march of hope, and we hope a majority of Iowans can unite in support of environmental protection. In climate strikes across Iowa and all over the world, people marched in solitary with scientists who have gone from sounding alarm bells to screaming from the roof tops that our climate cannot sustain the amount of pollution we are putting into the atmosphere.

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