Iowans lose out to industrial ag in 2020 legislative session

Emma Schmit is an Iowa organizer for Food & Water Watch. -promoted by Laura Belin

While coronovirus disrupted the Iowa legislative session this year, it failed to hinder business as usual.

Once again, legislators across the state preferred to serve Big Ag instead of their constituents. It’s hardly a surprise given the hundreds of thousands of dollars that flow into the coffers of our elected officials from Farm Bureau, Bayer-Monsanto and fat cats of the factory farm industry, including the Hansen and Rastetter families. While the needs of everyday Iowans were ignored for yet another year, industrial agribusiness cemented its rule over our state.

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Thoughts on a post-Trump agenda for Democrats

Dan Piller speculates on what the federal government might attempt if the 2020 presidential and Congressional elections swing toward Democrats. -promoted by Laura Belin

Democrats have learned, the hard way, to never count on a landslide before votes are cast. But the combination of a 1930s-style economic collapse, President Donald Trump’s manic blunderings, and his dismal poll numbers no doubt generate dreams in progressive minds of a landslide election in November that sweeps them into unchallengeable control of both the White House and congress in a manner similar to the Democratic sweeps of 1932 or 1964.

So what might happen if Joe Biden and a host of happy progressives settle into power in Washington next January (probably after walking past gun-toting, camouflage-wearing Trumpers making a Last Stand)?

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Ernst, Grassley sought lower payments for unemployed in new COVID-19 bill

Congress “expanded unemployment insurance by 250 billion dollars” to support laid-off workers, Senator Joni Ernst said during a news conference organized by Governor Kim Reynolds on March 29.

She didn’t mention that she and fellow Republican Senator Chuck Grassley had voted to reduce the amount millions of jobless people will receive over the next four months.

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How delaying property tax enforcement affects Iowa taxpayers, local government

Jon Muller is a semi-retired public policy analyst and sporadic blogger at jonathonmuller.com.-promoted by Laura Belin

Governor Kim Reynolds’ March 20 proclamation related to the COVID-19 pandemic suspended provisions of Iowa law imposing penalties and interest on late property tax payments.

Iowa’s 99 county governments collect property taxes and distribute the funds to themselves and other taxing authorities, such as school districts, cities, community colleges, or townships. The taxes paid by property owners are technically due on March 1 and September 1 of each year. Normally, penalties and interest begin to accrue on April 1 and October 1, respectively.

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Comments on the governor's Invest in Iowa Act

Polk County Soil and Water Commissioner John Norwood adapted comments he sent to members of the Iowa Senate assigned to the subcommittee on Senate Study Bill 3116. That legislation incorporates Governor Kim Reynolds’ proposed tax changes, including raising the sales tax to fund some natural resources projects and programs that benefit farmers. -promoted by Laura Belin

Dear Senators,

As a Soil and Water Commissioner representing the 500,000 +/- residents of Polk County, I have been working hard over the past year to study, strategize and communicate how we can begin to make an impact in cleaning up Iowa’s Waters, conserving our precious soils and reinvigorating our rural economies.

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Why I support Elizabeth Warren

Edward Cohn lives in Grinnell and is a member of the Poweshiek County Democratic Central Committee. -promoted by Laura Belin

I’m like a lot of Democrats: when the 2020 campaign began, I loved the idea of an Elizabeth Warren presidency, but I wasn’t sure whether Warren would be a strong candidate in November. Luckily, I live in Iowa, which means that I’ve had a lot of chances to see the Democratic field in action. After seeing 47 speeches by nineteen candidates, I can confidently say Warren is exactly the leader America needs.

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