Meeting Public Comments

Meeting informations are as follows:
Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Time: 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: RM 19
Names and comments are public records. Remaining information is considered a confidential record.
Comments Submitted:

Rick Phillips []
I encourage the committee to support HF117 and its passage. There seems to be a big push to move the power of controlling budgets from county supervisors to a commission overseeing the Emergency Management Agency (HF126). I think this would be a mistake since elected supervisors traditionally control the local purse strings and for the most part have done exceptionally well! Adversely, an unelected EMA commissioner would not have the concerns of property owners at heart, nor would it have the oversight needed that the people are accustomed to. A commissioner would only have his business at heart and what works best for it, lacking financial oversight the people rely on vested in their Board of Supervisors. The people need the stability of their Board of Supervisors at a time of economic uncertainty such as now and not change to an unknown wild card. What responsibilities pertaining to emergency services given to the EMA is one thing but let the county Board of Supervisors control the purse and approve any special levies on the county. I can foresee no problem with these checks and balances at the local levels of government. It will neither harm the quality of emergency services nor fiscal responsibility. Please support and pass HF117 and reject HF126.
Robert Kempf []
Some comments made by the public and lobbyists are not correctly based off of current law. As noted in the last sentence of 29C.9.2 verbiage below. Those members of the commission who vote on the certification of the emergency management commission budget must be an elected official.29C.9 Local emergency management commissions.1. The county boards of supervisors, city councils, and the sheriff in each county shallcooperate with the department to establish a commission to carry out the provisions of thischapter.2. The commission shall be composed of a member of the board of supervisors, thesheriff, and the mayor from each city within the county. A commission member maydesignate an alternate to represent the designated entity. For any activity relating to section29C.17, subsection 2, or chapter 24, participation shall only be by a commission member ora designated alternate that is an elected official from the same designated entity.HF126 provides the direct reference demonstrating that the commission is already a municipality for local budgeting under Chapter 24 definitions. In addition to already being a certifying board (24.2(2)),the Act designates the commission as a levying board to levy their own countywide special levy pursuant to Chapter 24. (24.2(4)) The bill also requires the commission to be identified separately on tax statements like schools, airport authorities, and other entities, providing accountable truth in taxation and maintains existing financial processes and responsibilities for the receipt and expenditure of taxpayer dollars.HF126 does not create any new taxation. It shifts the levying authority to the commission as a municipality that certified the budget. Therefore the commission members as elected officials will be directly responsible to all taxpayers of the county and the levy will be clearly noted on the tax statements.Please support and pass HF126 and reject HF117.
Doug Reed []
I would also like to encourage the committee to not implement oversight that would be a wildcard over funding the future of safety and economic security regarding major emergency and disasters. THE ONLY WAY TO DO THAT IS REJECT HF117. HF 117 is contrary to law, contrary to existing authorities, and couched in gross misperceptions, as noted in other public comments and those of some opposing lobbyists. Facts should be valued more than feelings on this matter. 1. There's no push to move the power of controlling budgets from county supervisors. Supervisors are not given this authority under Iowa law related to emergency management. 2. Commission members are elected officials, assembled under Iowa law to care for emergency management on a countywide basis without regard to any single jurisdictions political or financial agendas. 3. If the general assembly were to pass HF 117, going against the intent and structure of 29C, it would jeopardize emergency management agencies staffing and programmatic priorities, putting Iowans at risk. Who would want to cut disaster preparedness and response funding so more money could be diverted to making a bike trail or getting one more truckload of gravel? If HF 117 passes, it will happen. 4. HF 117 isn't about efficiency or transparency or even prudency; its about control. Primarily a false perceived control that a board can make a final, unilateral decision, contrary to the decision of ALL chief elected officials in a geographic county regarding emergency management funding. That theory is contrary to current law, its intent, and current AG Opinion on the matter. 5. Boards used to have a final decision authority under 29C and in years past, everyone agreed that model was an abject failure and limited commissions from implementing their statutory requirements which led to a change of the code to make the commission the fiscal authority. 6. HF 126 finally corrects the issue and leaves no more question on the intent of 29C. It IS NOT a new tax, it is an identification of an existing special levy and attributed to the correct levying body with more transparency than currently exists. HF 117, in some cases, would require a new tax being levied and would force boards of supervisors that are not at their cap of the general fund to max that out prior to using their general supplemental that can only be used for an insufficiency in general funds. I implore the committee DENY PASSAGE of HF 117 and return us to a point of known failure. Lives and property are at risk over this bad legislation. Iowa is one of the highest impacted states suffering from natural disasters. Passage of HF 117 would exacerbate our risk and ability to respond and recover, causing Iowans to suffer so a single entity can have "control".
Iowa Emergency Management Association []
Attached is the Iowa Emergency Management Association's fact sheet that can answers potential question about how and way the passage of HF126 will improve funding of emergency management in the State of Iowa.HF126 provides:1. Improved transparency of levied taxation to support the mission of emergency management in all jurisdictions.2. Eliminates the ability to control the emergency management levy by any single jurisdictions due to political or financial agendas.3. Commission members are elected officials, assembled under Iowa law to care for emergency management on a countywide basis.HF 117 goes against current law, existing authorities, and is based on misperceptions, as noted in other public comments and those of some opposing lobbyists.HF126 is based on current law, existing authorities and supported by the most current opinion of the State Attorney General's Office.We recommend the facts should be valued on this legislation and not influenced by feelings or private agendas.Therefore we recommend the committee move HF126 forward and reject HF117.