(Griswold) The Iowa Legislature will be back in session Monday, January 13th.
Of course, the biggest issue every year to start out with is the budget, according to Representative Jack Drake of Griswold.
“One thing I think that we’ve done a really good job of is we’ve not over spent our money, we’ve got money in the bank, so if we have a downturn we’ve still got some cushion,” said Drake.
Drake is the co-chair of the Agricultural and DNR Budget Appropriations Subcommittee and he said one of his concerns this year is the nutrient reduction request from the EPA.
“I’m very concerned when the federal government comes in that they maybe will make everybody try to fit in the same little box, and Iowa’s got so many different types of soils and with the lay of the land, and so we’re trying to do things to avoid getting into that,” stated Drake.
However, Drake says the farmers are really willing to try to do some things to control nutrients from getting into the Mississippi River.
Another concern of Drake’s is the number of roads that need repaired. He said the gas tax hasn’t been raised since the late 1980’s and that may be something they will look at.
“I also tell people that the way the price of gas jumps around that we could raise it 10 cents a gallon and most people wouldn’t notice it until the next election when the post cards go out,” said Drake. “I have a lot of people tell me that they want to see the gas tax increase and I also have a lot say ‘no I don’t want it to’. So, I don’t know what is going to happen.”
Looking back on the last session, Drake said one of the issues he worked on last year that he is proud of was paying off some bond issues in the amount of about 100-million dollars. Drake said that will save the state about 15 and a half million dollars in interest.
“If we have a downturn in the economy we don’t have to make up that, to pay those dollars, so that’s one of the things that I really like,” said Drake.
Drake said he appreciates it when people contact him with any issues or concerns so he can represent you to the best of his ability. Drake can be reached by calling 712-778-2538 or emailing email@example.com.