Despite the weather and road conditions, over 150 directors, managers and staff members from Iowa’s electric cooperatives discussed priorities with 100 state legislators on January 10 during the annual Welcome Back Legislative Reception at the State Historical Building in downtown Des Moines. Other guests of honor included: Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, Secretary of State Paul Pate, Iowa Utilities Board Member Nick Wagner and Iowa Department of Economic Development Director Debi Durham. The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, in conjunction with the Iowa Biotechnology Association, the Iowa Institute for Cooperatives, the Iowa Communications Alliance and the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa, hosted the annual reception.
Important issues for the rural electric cooperatives this session include:
- line personnel safety
- state programs that complement federal rural economic development programs
- geothermal property tax exemption
- Duane Arnold Energy Center (nuclear power plant) machinery and equipment tax exemption
- review and revision of energy programs
In the coming months, the Iowa General Assembly will be addressing a multitude of issues, including energy-related items central to Iowa’s rural economy. Beginning with the Welcome Back Legislative Reception, the directors, managers and staff will again be important advocates for a balanced approach in addressing energy issues that allows for Iowa’s member-owned rural electric cooperatives to continue providing affordable, reliable, safe and environmentally responsible power to more than 650,000 Iowans.
Electric cooperative representatives from all parts of the state will come to the state capitol in the next couple of months, where they will be able to visit with their legislators once again. The annual REC Day on the Hill will be held on March 22, 2017, at the capitol.
Pictured below are: ECI REC Directors Burt Byers, Gary McKenna, Jeff Elliott, Chris Sackett, and Assistant Secretary/Treasure Ryan Kress, and President Steve Rau meet with Senator Tim Kapucian.