Cooperatives Gear Up for New Legislature Session by Hosting Events
The 84th session of the Iowa General Assembly began on January 10. However, the directors and employees of ECI did not wait for the first gavel to fall to prepare for the new session.
"Forty new faces were elected to the Iowa legislature in November, and we needed to get to know these new elected legislators as well as to renew acquaintances with the 110 legislators returning to Des Moines," said ECI REC CEO Harry Ruth.
Iowa's electric cooperatives began hosting small regional meetings for legislators beginning in November. CEO Ruth attended meetings in Grinnell and Postville.
Then, on the evening of January 11, all legislators were invited to a Welcome Back Reception at the Iowa Historical Museum in Des Moines. Iowa electric cooperatives sponsor this reception in conjunction with four other organizations.
ECI REC Board President Steve Rau explained: "We want the legislators in Des Moines to trust us as a source of accurate, useful information about energy matters. What happens in Des Moines can affect electric cooperatives. We want the Iowa legislature to help us keep our members' lights on and their electric bills as low as possible."
ECI REC brought simple messages to legislators:
- One-size solutions from Des Moines are not appropriate. Each electric cooperative is locally owned and controlled. Each board develops solutions tailored to its own membership.
- When promoting renewable energy or energy efficiency, use incentives, not mandates. Again, one size does not fit all. Allow each electric cooperative to develop programs suited to its members.
- Support Iowa's Assigned Territory Law. Stable service territories allow all electric utilities to efficiently and economically plan and build their electric systems for the benefit of all Iowans.
- We will support any proposal that aids in the production and distribution of reliable, affordable electric power.