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Chamber of Commerce Legislative Corner

March 27, 2011
Messenger News

Transportation issues to monitor

State level - Iowa's trucking industry is always watching any legislative proposals that will have an impact on our ability to do business in Iowa. We are very supportive of any legislative proposals that will grow our Iowa economy.

Iowa's trucking industry is also deeply concerned about the continual deterioration of our road system so we have been watching the developments that have been made by the governor's office to establish a citizens' board to study the current situation with our roads. We are hopeful that the proposals that are recommended by this committee will provide solutions to this growing problem. Our industry is supportive of a gas tax increase.

National level - There are a number of issues that the trucking industry is watching on the national level - most notably, the reauthorization legislation that again puts an emphasis on our roads. We need good roads to have a strong economy.

City/County/Chamber D.C. trip

The Fort Dodge Chamber, city of Fort Dodge, Webster County supervisors and Iowa Central Community College had a very informative trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with Sens. Tom Harkin and Charles Grassley and U.S. Reps. Tom Latham and Steve King March 9-11.

Priorities and projects that were discussed included:

The Des Moines River Front Trail, airport funding and related issues, U.S. highways 20 and 169 improvements, Fifth Avenue South improvements, ag industrial park and rail improvements, Lincoln neighborhood, downtown improvements, a variety of education issues, including Pell Grant funding, Distance Learning regulations, regulations pertaining to human service agencies like Life Works, Homeland Security training, health care and nursing training, and Advanced Manufacturing training in response to the Electrolux plant closing.

Funding for these projects will be sought from a variety of federal grants since congressionally directed funding (earmarks) are no longer allowed. The interaction with the members and their staff is invaluable and puts a face with a name. As Sen. Grassley said, Washington, D.C., is an island in and of itself so it is important federal employees understand there is a "real world" out there in Middle America.

City update -Kohl's

City update - Perkins

Recreation updates



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