FARM WORK: Branstad Defends Inspection Directive

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The Branstad administration is being questioned about a new directive to ignore electrical inspections at farm buildings.

Last week Public Safety Commissioner Larry Noble announced his department will not inspect electrical work on agricultural buildings that aren’t open to the public. Noble says the Electrical Examining Board is overstepping its authority by requiring electrical inspections at farms.

However, Attorney General Tom Miller has said in the past farms buildings aren’t exempt from inspection.  

Friday, Gov. Terry Branstad backed Noble’s directive.

The governor released a statement reading, “Iowa farmers have safely conducted electrical work on their barns, grain bins and outbuildings for years. They`ve hired experienced electrical contractors and licensed professionals who don`t need the state looking over their shoulders.”  

But state senator Jack Kibbie says the state can’t be sure that qualified electricians are doing the work unless that work is inspected. Kibbie is asking Attorney General Tom Miller to review the Branstad directive.

Kibbie says the governor doesn’t get to pick which laws are enforced. In a statement Friday he said, “This is a safety issue and it is a state law.  If Governor Branstad doesn`t like a law, he needs to ask the legislature to send him a bill changing the law. It really doesn`t get much more black and white than this.”