After pulling an all-nighter the Iowa House of Representative adjourned just six minutes before six o’clock on Thursday.
Notable in the flurry of bills at the session’s end was Senate File 2363, which made several appropriations for agriculture in fiscal year 2015 that were absent in Governor Branstad’s proposed budget out earlier this year.
Differences between the governor’s budget and the legislature’s budget are often shortlisted for a veto, but Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is still hopeful Branstad will pass the bill.
Northey says, “I think it’s always important to let him see how this fits in with everything. But he’s been very supportive over water quality efforts over conservation efforts here. We’re very hopeful that he would sign this budget and that this would provide some additional dollars and momentum to continue the water quality initiative and other practices that we do here.”
The legislature passed a total of $22.3 million in support of water quality and conservation. In that is $4.4 million in ongoing funding and $3.5 million in one-time funding specifically for the Iowa Water Quality Initiative. They also approved $5 million in one-time funding to address the backlog of state soil conservation cost-share projects.
Also $1.2 million is provided to close eight agricultural drainage wells, there is $1.5 million for the Watershed Improvement Review Board and $1.3 million is for the nutrient management research center at Iowa State University.