Iowa Legislature Public Hearings


Public Hearings and times are as follows:

Budget Bills

HF 642- Education

HF 645- Judicial

HF 644- Justice Systems

HF 641- Agriculture & Natural Resources

HF 643- RIIF

Waiting for numbers on Health & Human Services & Economic Development


Sponsored by the Appropriations Committee

Monday, April 17, 2017
10:00 AM (introductions begin)
12:00 PM (conclusion of the hearing)
RM 103, Sup. Ct. Chamber

Comments Received at Public Hearing (Date Published: 04/18/2017)
04-13-2017
Laura Hessburg [Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence]
CON
Comments will be on HSB 202 Justice Systems Appropriations bill
04-13-2017
Angie Carter [Iowa State University alumna]
CON
I am a 4th generation ISU alum and an 8th generation Iowan. The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is what inspired me to return to my home state for doctoral study. As a graduate of the ISU Sustainable Agriculture program, I benefited from the Center as a hub for creativity, innovation, and science to address agricultural change. For the past week, my fellow alumni and I have been organizing in support of the Center. In just 48 hours, we collected nearly 500 signatories on a petition that I have attached here. I am also submitting a letter we signed and shared with all of our legislators, emphasizing the importance and continued need for the Center's work in Iowa, also included in this attachment. In this PDF, you will find hundreds of comments shared with us about why Iowans feel the funding for the center is crucial for the future of our state. It is imperative that these funds continue to fund sustainable agricultural research, and that these funds remain at the Leopold Center, as was mandated in its original founding, to be governed by the Center through the Center's transparent grant making process. As a research entity on the ISU campus, the Center's work is not replicated on campus or elsewhere. Indeed, across the country, the Center stands apart and is readily acknowledged as a treasureits model partnering farmers and scientists continues to generate needed public science benefiting our state and many beyond our state's borders. I will close with just a few of the hundreds of comments we have received on our petition in the past days testifying to the continued benefit this Center provides our state: "There is NO DOUBT that funding for sustainable agriculture research and information sharing that The Leopold Center provides should be of highest priority for the legislature if concerns of all Iowa constituents is of concern.""The research supported by the Leopold Center is critical to many smallscale producers in Iowa, as well as largescale producers of common commodity crops seeking to improve the environmental impact of their agricultural practices.""As farmers, my husband and I value the research at the Leopold Center. We are always looking for ways to improve our farm operation.""Their research has supported the creation of hundreds of new jobs across Iowa""The Leopold Center is one of the few organizations in Iowa that is able to effectively research and promote agricultural practices that work within high production systems and encourage resource conservation at the same time. It is one of the only organizations that puts Iowa as a priority and its mission is crucial to ensuring agricultural and economic stability for our state.""We are blessed with Iowas rich natural resources and Leopold Center has contributed greatly to protect Iowas soil and water. Dont take the blessing away."
04-13-2017
Nicole Loew []
PRO
P.H.D. candidate with emphasis on sexual and reproductive health, has conducted current research focused on Iowa women with an understanding of how fiscal allocations might impact Iowa's economic potential and social landscape.
04-13-2017
Adelaide Zwick
CON
I am a citizen and voter interested in the budgetmaking process. I wish to address the Iowa House on behalf of Iowa workers and families.
04-14-2017
Molly Hanson [Iowa Rivers Revival]
CON
We cannot zero out funding for dam safety mitigation and water trails. The health and safety of Iowans depends on those projects being funded.
04-14-2017
Mary Williams []
CON
This is an unChristian, immoral budget. You have taken our money and given it to corporations, many from outofstate, and they have not returned the favor with either jobs or revenue. And now you are cutting funds for education, family planning, the environment, and assistance for middleincome and poor Iowans. Iowa has fallen to the bottom of every list for livablilty and we used to be be at the top! Young people and families have no reason to to want to live here anymore. I have encouraged my children to move to other states to raise their children, and I do not intend to retire here. The Iowa Republican Party, Branstad and Reynolds have destroyed our great state.
04-14-2017
Stefan Gailans [Practical Farmers of Iowa]
CON
The recently proposed legislation that cuts funding to the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University is troubling. This year marks both the 30th anniversary of the Leopold Center. In the late 1980s, the Leopold Center provided much of the funding that supported onfarm research conducted by Practical Farmers of Iowa, a farmerled nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen farms and communities through farmerled investigation and information sharing. Those early onfarm research trials involved farmers testing ways to maintain or improve productivity while reducing inputs (fertilizer, herbicide, etc.). To paraphrase several founding members of Practical Farmers: Those trials paved the way for showing that there were different and better ways of doing things. In the words of Vic Madsen, who farms near Audubon, Through Practical Farmers onfarm research I have learned and adopted things I didnt know I could do on the farm. The Leopold Center's support is extremely important to Practical Farmers of Iowa and to a great deal of Iowans researching ways Iowa agriculture can be more sustainable.More recently the Leopold Center has supported academic research on cover crops, extended croprotations, and prairie stripsstudies that directly informed the state of Iowas Nutrient Reduction Strategy released in 2013.These studies have found improvements in crop productivity, weed management, and overall farmer profitability while also reducing pollution to surface and ground water.Put frankly, the Leopold Center has supported onfarm research, supported academic research invaluable to farmers, and supported the training of agricultural scientists for 30 years. Why cut funding to this nationallyrecognized institution whose work has been benefitting Iowans for 30 years?
04-14-2017
Kathie Lyman [Polk County Medical Society, Volunteer Physician Network]
CON
The VPN provides free specialty care to 2,500 3,500 Iowans a year.
04-14-2017
Juliet Bascom [The Volunteer Physician Network]
CON
The VPN provides free specialty care to 2,500 3,500 Iowans a year
Attachment
04-14-2017
Paula Noonan [The Volunteer Physician Network]
CON
The VPN provides free specialty care to 2,500 3,500 Iowans a year.
Attachment
04-14-2017
Kathleen Delate []
CON
I am requesting that funding for the Leopold Center be continued to support its great work in helping Iowa farmers deal with regulations related to maintaining our water and soil quality.
04-14-2017
LIsa Koppin [North Iowa Community Action Organization]
CON
I would like to speak against the provision of a State Funded Family Planning program being delivered to serve patients by the current Iowa Family Planning Waiver.
04-14-2017
Nancy Robertson [Crisis Intervention Service]
CON
As a director of a comprehensive shelter, sexual assault, and violent crime program in rural southcentral Iowa I am extremely concerned about the proposed 26% cuts to victim services. This would severely impact our ability to serve victims throughout our twelve county service area. We currently operate one of eight remaining shelters in the state. Our ability to continue doing so would be greatly impacted by a cut of this size and likely would lead us to needing to close the shelter. This would mean that the 150 women, men, and children that we provided safe shelter to last year would be required to travel to Iowa City or Des Moines for shelter, if those shelter happened to have beds available. Additionally, we would lack the resources to respond to the 631 sexual assault victims we worked with last year. This would mean victims could have to undergo a sexual assault exam and criminal proceedings against their perpetrator on their own. Please, please do not revictimize these individuals by leaving them without the assistance needed to bring their perpetrators to justice. Please do not leave these victims without a safe shelter to escape the violence.
04-14-2017
Anonymous [Citizen]
CON
I am convinced the work of the Leopold Center is NOT complete, as evidenced by the challenges we continue to face with water quality and top soil loss, along with the need for information on sustainable production practices, marketing opportunities, aggregation and distribution support and a myriad of other topics requested from those growing crops other than corn and soybeans.
04-14-2017
Phoebe Clark [Planned Parenthood of the Heartland ]
CON
Planned Parenthood and the Iowa Family Planning Network have made it possible for me to finish my degree without worrying about getting pregnant and needing abortion services. Without their funding for my IUD I'd be spending a ton of time and mental energy tracking periods and buying pregnancy tests all while trying to scrape $1000 together to pay for it myself. Because of their help I can just live my life for the next three years. So don't cut Planned Parenthood's funding and don't get rid of the Iowa Family Planning Network people all over Iowa rely on them.
04-14-2017
Jana Linderman []
CON
As a beginning farmer, I am strongly opposed to the current proposal to defund and close the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. The Leopold Center was created in the midst of tough times the farm crisis of the 1980s. Given the challenges facing Iowa agriculture right now, including the very tough farm economy facing beginning farmers like me, this is the worst possible time to remove this incredibly important source of research and innovation that so many farmers have relied on to improve their farming practices and make their operations more profitable. Given the central importance of the farm economy to this state, it's difficult to understand how eliminating a source of innovation and support for Iowa farmers will improve the state's revenue and budget situation going forward. In addition, the Leopold Center has long been a national leader in research and education on conservation, soil health, and the overall sustainability of agricultural production. These are all pressing issues in Iowa, and the legislature needs to place a higher priority on them, not defund a research center that has been an innovator and leader for the past 3 decades. This is a terrible, shortsighted proposal that will hurt farms and the longterm economic and ecological sustainability of agricultural production in Iowa. With the increasing age of family farmers, we need to do everything we can to support beginning farmers and young families who want to start farming. This proposal will only serve to cut the feet out from underneath them.
04-14-2017
Robert Turnbull []
CON
We expect our elected officials to offer real solutions to problems facing our state regarding water quality, the struggling farm economy, the lack of beginning farmers, and the long term reliability of our food system. The Leopold Center is making great strides in addressing these issues. Do not defund the Leopold Center!
04-14-2017
Beth Hoffman [University of San Francisco]
CON
As a professor at both the University of California and the University of San Francisco, I have looked to the Leopold Center many times for reliable resources, great research and innovative ideas. I have reported on and taught about food and agriculture for almost 20 years, and during that time, there is no more prominent name in the country for the most up to date, reliable research on sustainable agriculture, including their unique emphasis on the necessity of midsized farms, cover crops and crop rotations.Closing the Leopold Center (and the Flood Center, which in its own field is also the most prominent facility in the country) would be taking a step back in time, and make Iowa look like a backward, vindictive state, unaware of how a facility of this prestige impacts the entire nation and in fact globally. It would also be a stab in Iowa's own back, as the center provides resources and ideas for the tens of thousands of farmers in its midst. Why would one shoot itself in its own feet? Sustainable agriculture is now a fact all businesses must pay attention to fiscally and environmentally so why close a center that most cost effectively makes small but effective change possible for so many?Sincerely,Beth HoffmanAssistant ProfessorUniversity of San Francisco
04-14-2017
Stephen Tews [iowa cci action ]
CON
we have a revenue problem.lets cancel those 200 plus million dollar corporate welfare hand outs, "tax incentives"
04-14-2017
Karl Schilling [Iowa Organization for Victim Assistance]
CON
It is especially inappropriate to cut funding for services to victims of crime during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. There are few people in Iowa in more need of help than those who have been the victims of violent crimes. They seldom receive real justice from the courts. Even if the offenders are punished they seldom get full restitution and in many instances full restitution is impossible because the damage is permanent.Government, from the forming of the first tribe, has had as it's first priority the safety of the group and the security of the group. When that system fails it is the first responsibility to try to regain that safety and security.A budget that does not have the needs of victims as a high priority is a budget that represents a failure on the part of the legislators and the governor to recognize government's first priority. It is the budget of a government that has lost its way and has put economics over people, that considers the cost of things but not the value. We need to put people first, especially those in pain.
04-14-2017
Alex Bare []
CON
Undergraduate student at the University of Iowa.
04-14-2017
Susan Futrell []
CON
I plan to speak to the importance of retaining funding for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.
04-14-2017
Denise Kanne []
CON
Iowa cannot afford multi million dollar tax breaks to corporations at the expense of education & programs for victims of violence & mental health & much much more. Corporations should not take priority over the health & well being of Iowans. Our state is becoming an embarrassment.
04-14-2017
Nick Wuertz [Lutheran Services in Iowa]
CON
The LCSA has been instrumental in providing opportunities for new Iowans to participate in sustainable agriculture and contribute their farming skills to our communities. Please continue the great work done by LCSA and it's partners across our state.
04-14-2017
Michael Delaney [Izaak Walton League]
CON
The Iowa Chapter of the Izaak Walton League is opposed to cuts to the Iowa Flood Center, The Leopold Center, REAP and the Dam removal and River Restoration Program.
04-14-2017
Mary J. Ingham [Crisis Intervention Service]
CON
Speaking in opposition to proposed cuts to the funding of victim services in Iowa.
04-14-2017
Daniel J Gudahl [Whiterock Conservancy, Coon Rapids]
CON
Leopold Center is an Iowa gem that deserves everyone's support. I would like to speak against defunding.
04-14-2017
Suzanne Zilber [Catalyst Counseling ]
CON
As a psychologist, I would like to speak from that perspective about how Planned Parenthood occupies a unique and essential role in the medical care of Iowa women, particularly low income women.
04-14-2017
Ben Lehman [Lehman Farms ltd]
CON
I am a senior in high school going into agriculture and concerned about the impact of cuts to the Leopold Center
04-14-2017
Sue Huppart [Des Moines University ]
CON
I wish to speak to the HHS Apropos bill.
04-14-2017
Seth Watkins [Pinhook Farm]
CON
We cannot achieve our Iowa Nutrient Reduction Goals on a voluntary basis without the research, education, and outreach provided by The Leopold Center. As a farmer often credited with doing the "right thing" when it comes to soil health, grazing, & nutrient reduction. The credit for my success comes from the information I receive from The Leopold Center. Two things have made Iowa the great state she is: Our Land & Our Schools. There is no better proof than the results delivered by The Leopold Center. Please continue your support of The Leopold Center.
04-14-2017
Alexander Liebman [University of Minnesota ]
CON
I am writing to voice my support of ongoing funding for the Leopold Center. As a graduate student in agronomy at the University of Minnesota, I find the resources and scholarship emanating from the Leopold Center to be crucial in stimulating my own education and fostering needed dialogue about agricultural issues that span the upper Midwest. Resources from the Center are used throughout classes and discussions in the agronomy department at the University of Minnesota. I strongly urge the Appropriations Committee to vote against funding cuts to the Leopold Center.
04-14-2017
Mary Radloff []
PRO
Corporate giveaways turned our surplus into a deficit. Big business can pay their share.
04-14-2017
Ken Roseboro [The Organic & Non-GMO Report]
CON
I am strongly opposed to the proposal to eliminate funding for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. The Leopold Center has been doing vital research on improving water quality and health soils, and improving sustainable agriculture in Iowa, and this research should continue. The Center has funded over 600 competitive grants for important research to improve the sustainability and profitability of Iowa's family farms. Research and education carried out by the Leopold Center and its grant partners covers a broad range of topics, including: water quality, soil health, nutrient management, livestock grazing, cover crops, biodiverse cropping systems, and development of local food systems. These projects have helped farmers improve the effectiveness and cost of conservation practices, diversify their farming operations to manage risk and improve profitability, identify new markets for their crops, and build the long term resilience of Iowa's agricultural production and farm economy.
04-14-2017
Sherry Kiskunas [N/A]
CON
This legislative session has been a total disater! How could a huge surplus turn into a $130 million deficit in one year?? That, among other activities that the GOP lead Govenorship, Senate & House, is gross mismanagement & incompetence. Along with funding for all the right programs and passing/funding for all the wrong programs and bills done in this session! This Iowan has had enough of the incompetent, idiotic and inhumane conditions that this session has produced. This Iowan is wondering how much money has the Koch Brothers and the NRA spent in this State to achieve its goals? This Iowan would like a GOP representative to explain the surplus to deficit!!
04-14-2017
Bob Ferguson [Ferguson Leaders Unlimited]
CON
I oppose the closure of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture HF 641. The Center is a vital resource for the development of sustainable agriculture in Iowa and beyond. Let's not be short sighted.
04-14-2017
Lisa Bell [Select...]
CON
Iowans are suffering because of your poor decision to issue a tax cut to the manufacturing industry. You choose to put corporations before people. This is your mess to clean up. It's not on the shoulders of foster children. It's not on the shoulders of sexual assault victims. It's not on the shoulders of preschoolers. It's on your shoulders. Start acting like adults. Admit that you made a mistake, and start taking responsibility for solving this problem. Iowa does not have a spending problem. It has a corporate tax cut problem. The citizens of this great state are not the mat you wipe your feet on. We are your bosses. This budget is your number one priority. Get to work.
04-14-2017
Robert Riley Jr []
CON
I would like to speak against the defunding of the Leopold Center as prescribed in the current version of HF 642
04-14-2017
Ryan Marquardt [Iowa Food Cooperative ]
CON
The Iowa Legislatures proposed 2018 budget eliminates the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. The Leopold Center supports research and discussion in a wide array of agricultural topics ranging from farming practices that improve water quality, to livestock housing, to local food system research. The Iowa Food Cooperative, with its 1200 members, grew out of a feasibility study funded by the Leopold Center. The Iowa Food Cooperative now moves around $15,000 dollars in Iowa made and produced product every two weeks. That is why, I would encourage you to preserve the Leopold Center as a vehicle to invest in our state and as a resource to foster homegrown solutions to the challenges all parts of the agricultural sector face. The work of the Leopold Center is not done, it has been a valuable contributor and we at the Iowa Food Cooperative would like to see it continue in that role into the future.Ryan MarquardtIowa Food Cooperative Board President
04-15-2017
Adam Robinson [Rape Victim Advocacy Program]
CON
As the executive director for Rape Victim Advocacy Program, I have the privilege every day of seeing firsthand examples of the best and worst of humanity. Victim Service Centers like ours exist because of the worst of humanity. We exist because of epidemic levels of genderbased violence. Violence that is unnecessary. Violence that is preventable. Violence that my colleagues and I statewide strive each and every day to eliminate.In our work we also have the honor of seeing firsthand the best of humanity. We get to walk alongside survivors as they profess along their healing journeys. We get to witness their courage, strength, and resiliency. We get to see them reclaim their own power, and reclaim their lives.I'm here in response to the proposed 26% cut in funding for victim services. This proposal deeply saddens and angers me. We have come too far with regards to shining an honest light on sexual assault and domestic violence. We are finally seeing this epidemic as a human rights issue and improving access to support for all survivors particularly here in Iowa. Restructuring of statewide victim services in 2013 was a collaborative effort that would not have been possible without the support of the Iowa State Legislature. The impact of these changes has been a 66% increase in the total number of survivors served in 2013. We've seen a 125% increase in the number of sexual assault survivors, and a 45% increase in the number of domestic violence survivors served. As a result, Iowa now serves as a national model for service delivery to other coalitions across the country. We have come too far and have too far yet to go to take such a drastic step backwards.As elected leaders in Iowa, you have the responsibility to put our state dollars where our shared values are. On behalf of survivors throughout the state, I implore you to keep funding for victim services as a top priority here in Iowa. I implore you PLEASE maintain current funding levels in your 2018 budget.Thank you for your consideration and partnership.
04-15-2017
Anonymous [none]
CON
Given the poor water quality in Iowa and the lack of not even being close to meeting all the recommendations of the Nutrient Strategy, it seems very shortsighted and antithe future of Iowa to defund the Leopold Center at ISU. The work the center does is critical to the success of farmers across the state transitioning to sustainable farming practices. Ag success is Iowa's success. If you are truly proeconomic development and growth, then closing a research center is NOT the way to go. Please rethink your position on this critical topic.
04-15-2017
Jerry Peckumn [Iowa Rivers Revival]
CON
RIIF Funding for River Trails and Dam Safety Mitigation should be maintained at $1,000,000 as it was last year. The demand for the river works is high. The funding at $1,000,000 last year represented a 50% cut in funding from two years previous. The funds are used to remove or modify dangerous dams that create an undertow that can trap people who are unaware of the danger. The modification or removal improves the river by allowing aquatic live to move up stream, often needed to provide spawning areas. River Trails provides information about commercial services and public boat landings helping fuel Iowa's economy through more economic activity and maintaining a higher level of quality of life.
04-15-2017
Cecilia Norris [Iowa City Free Medical Clinic]
CON
Much of the legislative agenda has resulted in an all out war on women through their access to health care, ability to attain an education, economic wellbeing and safety from domestic abuse. As a physician I am appalled at how quickly these decisions were made based on ignorance (that women who have had a miscarriage should have to bear that dead fetus until they go into labor or die themselves), misinformation or outright lies (that there are enough providers outside of Planned Parenthood to continue providing necessary cancer screenings, primary care and other medical services for women). I, too, would like to see an end to abortion as a form of contraception. But these policies will likely result in an increase in unwanted pregancies and increase disability and death of women. Medically there are times that abortion is indicated and the legislature should not have the right to make that decision for a woman. As a family physician resident at a Catholic hospital, I used to discuss what choices a woman with an unwanted pregnancy had and urge them to continue the pregnancy. But after hearing individual women's stories, I realized that not all women had the same choices that I, a privileged, educated, white woman, had. I met women who feared for their lives if they continued their pregnancy, women who feared for the wellbeing of their other children if they had one more mouth to feed, women who feared for the loss of a job if it was discovered they were pregnant, women who had been raped and were so traumatized and marginalized that they didn't seek medical care right away. These stories led me to see that the truly ethical and humanitarian thing to do is to prevent these unwanted pregnancies in the first place. This is more cost effective, healthier and more humane and our society should be putting resources into preventing pregnancy rather than taking them away.
04-15-2017
Arllys and Lorado Adelmann []
CON
We strongly oppose the plan to defund and close down the Leopold Center at the U. of Iowa. We've been so proud of Iowa for having such an informative and effective research center and can't imagine a better use of the funds that have been legislated to keep it operating. Please don't pass this illadvised legislation. Thank you.
04-15-2017
Charlotte Shivvers [Shivvers Lecture]
CON
The Leopold Center has been instrumental for many years in bringing Shivvers Lecture forward as consistent words on sustainable agriculture. Also, only ten days Gov. Branstad gave me a framed certificate "in recognition of your generous contribution to Iowa and its Natural Resources" It makes no sense.
04-15-2017
Francis Thicke []
CON
In the late 1980s I served as the National Program Leader for Soil Science at the USDAExtension Service in Washington D.C. Iowa's establishment of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture was then seen from Washington as groundbreaking and innovative, and it established Iowa as a national leader in sustainable agriculture.The Leopold Center is still considered a leading institution in sustainable agriculture nationally. An immense amount of cuttingedge research has come from the Leopold Center over the past 30 years. Some of that research has contributed to the robust database of the Scientific Assessment of Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Strategy.Today the Leopold Center is needed more than ever to help us find innovate ways to solve Iowa's water quality problems and make Iowa agriculture more environmentally friendly.Please maintain the budget of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.Thank you.Francis ThickePh.D., Agronomy
04-15-2017
Elizabeth Willem []
CON
I'm especially opposed to defunding Planned Parenthood when that rejects $3 million of federal funding. It is not fiscally responsible nor morally responsible to strip our uninsured and poor from access to reproductive healthcare.Additionally, I'm opposed to ANY additional cuts to education at any level. Cut the economic development and corporate tax incentives to nearly zero. The corporate welfare we have provided has not created enough jobs to warrant the incentives.
04-15-2017
James Steffen []
CON
Testimony in support of the Leopold Center is attached. Thanks
04-15-2017
bob shrem [private citizen]
CON
I think it is appalling that the budget for Leopold Center funding will be eliminated I am an ardent supporter of the Center; there programs and research add to the quality of life of thousands of small growers in our state, supporting local economies and jobs; with markets in nearly every town throughout the state to market and sell local produce
04-15-2017
Erwin Klaas [None]
CON
As a former Soil and Water Conservation Commissioner, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture has been an important source of information for all of the districts of Iowa. The work of this important institute has just begun. Many farmers benefit from the research and outreach provided by the Leopold Center. Please do not let this important program disappear.
04-15-2017
Leigh Adcock [Personal]
CON
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is famous nationwide as a leader in sustainable agriculture research and education. Clearly the state's farmers are not all doing a fantastic job of conservation, or we would not be bottom in water quality and continuing to lose ton after ton of topsoil each year. I say this as the daughter of a farmer and eventual inheritor of farmland in northwest Iowa. I value the Center's work as a citizen, a landowner, and a mother of two children who wants this state to be somewhere they will want to come back to someday.Please vote to reject this cut and keep the Leopold Center strong decades into the future. There is no other entity in the state doing the work this Center does, and it is vitally important to the quality of our land and water the basis of our economy and quality of life.Sincerely,Leigh Adcock
04-15-2017
James R Russell [Iowa State University (Retired)]
CON
I am extremely dismayed to hear that the state house is considering discontinuing funding of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Over the last 30 years of my 37year career at Iowa State University, funding from the Leopold Center was the only state funding that I received for my research and extension program in beef grazing systems. Even now that Im retired, the Leopold Center is providing me funding to revise ISU Publication PM 1713 Pasture Management Guide for Livestock Producers. This publication was originally prepared with funding from the Leopold Center in 1998 and has been highly successful with nearly 9,000 copies sold over the last 19 years. The proposed loss of Leopold Center funding will result in the loss of funding for the longneeded revision of this publication. But more importantly, as I said, the Leopold Center has been the only source of state funding for forage and grazing research and extension programs for some time. With the increasing realization of the importance of forages to the states water quality, loss of Leopold Center funding to my former research and extension colleagues will severely hamper efforts to continue to improve the states water quality through improved forage management. While the Nutrient Management Center does talk about a role of forages in water quality, they have put little funding into research and extension efforts into forage management (At least up until the time I retired in November). Furthermore, the toxicity problems with the tall fescue pervasive in southern Iowa as well as the invasion of red cedar and sericea lespedeza, and sediment and pathogen loading of southern Iowa streams and lakes are examples of how the Leopold Center's Mission is far from complete. These problems are outside the mission of the nutrient management center or any other center or unit at Iowa State University. In addition, loss of Leopold Center funding will hamper research and extension programs to educate young producers in utilizing improved grazing management practices to improve the profitability of their farms and rural communities. As a result, I request that you vote against bill 641 and to continue to provide funding of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
04-15-2017
Shelly Silver [Indivisible Iowa SD 19 HD37/38]
CON
I am against any bill that makes further cuts to our budget. PLEASE START MAKING CORPORATIONS PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE IN TAXES so that we can stop these cuts to education, health and human services, and public safety including corrections and survivors programs. The argument "we don't want to hurt job creators" is completely false especially for multibillion dollar corporations like Walmart. What it translates to is this you care more about corporations than working families and the services provided to them and our most vulnerable Iowans. I pay my fair share of taxes, why can't corporations pay theirs???
04-15-2017
Nancy Grudens-Schuck []
CON
DO not approve HF641. The Leopold Center has a proven track record of increasing our cutting edge understanding of integrating pest management with field management for farmers and landowners, and addressing fertilizer recommendations that are new to the region. The Nutrient Center is important but it is more narrow. It has particular goals, and it not as flexible. The Leopold Center also has a proven method for distributing funds so that new players become involved, including producers and students who are tomorrows researchers, Extension educators and producers themselves. Thank you. Funding for the Leopold Center is straightforward. Funding is from agriculture and it goes back to agriculture. It is fair and modest, with a big benefit.
04-15-2017
Adam Wright [Iowa State University]
CON
I urge you to restore funding for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. The Leopold Center sponsors research and extension education on key issues in agriculture for Iowa and the nation. The center serves as the catalyst to research that eventually makes its way into everyday practice by farmers, businesses, and communities.Over the past 30 years, the center has earned a national reputation for exploring innovative, profitable approaches to farming that conserve natural resources and stimulate local economies. Given these difficult times of low commodity prices, funding for the Leopold Center is crucial to the economic health of the state. The Leopold Center has sponsored the work of Iowans concerned about their natural resources through more than 600 research projects on topics spanning water quality, nutrient management, soil health, livestock grazing, cover crops, and local food systems development. The proposed shut down of the Leopold Center will remove the centers ability to fund research in these fields. If you look at just six of the major projects the Center funded, for every dollar the Leopold Center spent on these projects, an additional $4.60 was leveraged to complement or expand the work.Additionally, grants funded by the center in the last four years brought in nearly $20 million in added support (leveraging) for Iowa researchers and educators. The centers programs have been an economically beneficial arrangement for the state and its educational institutions. Eliminating the Leopold Center would mean a loss of roughly $5 million a year to agricultural research initiatives.The entire state would be impacted by the cuts as the Leopold Center provides demonstrations and field research in all 99 Iowa counties epitomizing Iowa States landgrant mission.As an Iowa State grad student in sustainable agriculture, I have seen numerous friends given opportunities by the Leopold Center. My graduate advisor, Fred Kirschenmann, works at the Leopold Center and is one of our nation's foremost leaders in sustainable agriculture. To lose Fred and all the other amazing staff at the Leopold Center would be a terrible loss for our state and country as a whole.
04-15-2017
Helen Gunderson [Practical Farmers of Iowa member]
CON
I am a fourthgeneration Iowan and Iowa State University alumna. I own 500 acres of land in Pocahontas County, and am a lifetime member of Practical Farmers of Iowa. For decades, I have wrestled with the issues of landownershiphow to economically benefit from the land but also how to be a good steward. That has not been easy in a family and culture that says bigger is better in agriculture. Gradually, I have been able to make changes to how my land is farmed. I have highest regard the Leopold Center and have benefitted indirectly but immensely from its work and the ways it has been supportive of PFI. Without the center and PFI, I am not sure I could have made the changes that I have, considering how easy for landowners to buy into the status quo of Big Ag, and the ways that kind of agriculture is destructive. I believe so much in the cause of land and environmental stewardship that I have given a third of my land to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and will give most of the rest to PFI in my will. I lived out of state from 1975 to 1993, when I moved back to Iowa from California. I had developed such a lovehate for my home state for a variety of reasonsone being the aggressive style of agriculture. But gradually, my mixed feelings turned toward ones of love, especially as I was able to resolve some of my issues in relationship to land stewardship with the help of the Leopold Center and PFI. The latter is like family to mesupporting me as a person and with farming advice. I have been disappointed in how, it seems at every turn, there has been big resistance to the introduction of more sustainable practices. I hear friends at ISU say that the university administration does NOT really want to manage the Leopold Center (that is under the university management) in a way that the center can thrive. I also hear how the university administration does not want the sustainable agriculture degree program to thrive. To me, the Leopold Center, PFI and the ISU sustainable agriculture programs are some of the best things going in Iowa. But I also know that there is huge influence from companies such as Monsanto and people such as Bruce Rastetter on the agricultural program at Iowa State. It seems to me that the Leopold Center and PFI are doing some of the independent kinds of farmer support that farmers used to be able to expect from ISU Extension. If the legislature keeps on its mission to destroy the good things of this state such as the Leopold Center, and if Big Ag continues to gain control of how the land of Iowa is farmed, might the citizens some day need to emigrate to another stateto be refugees there because it is not healthy to breath the air, drink the water, and otherwise live prosperous lives here. I guess the other option is to continue to live hear with the discomfort and health risks associated with status quo agriculture. So thats itnot in a nutshell. I have too much passion on this matter to try to boil this down to one sentence. I want to continue to love this state and thrive here. Please support and not destroy the Leopold Center.
04-15-2017
David Weisberger [student]
CON
The Leopold Center does great work in supporting and promoting agriculture related research that benefits all Iowans. It more than pays for itself in the results of its studies, the grant dollars it generates, the careers it helps to launch and the communities it supports via its mission. Moving its small funding amount to a more myopic and less transparent research entity is an insult to the good work it has done and all those who benefit from it. It is an affront to the tax paying citizens of the state. The issues it supports from soil and water quality to equitable access and distribution of Iowa grown foods are important to the state's urban and rural economies. Cutting funding for the Center demonstrates the sort of feeble partisan politics that are setting Iowa up for challenging times ahead. The Center has always been and should always be a nonpartisan research institution for the kind of important agricultural systems research that we will so desperately need as we move into the future.
04-15-2017
Paul Durrenberger [Sustainable Iowa Land Trust]
CON
The Leopolod Center is the only bright program coming out of an Iowa State dominated by what Paul Lasley is pleased to call "production agriculture" aka "conventional agriculture," that is considered the norm at ISU. This is the core problem of our declining water quality, our loss of soils, erosion and the destruction of rural communities across the state. Only Leopold pursues alternatives. That one ray of hope must be preserved in this otherwise dim environment. It is funded by a tax on the nitrates that find their ways directly or indirectly into our waterways. The time to defund Leopold is when there are no revenues coming from that tax source because nobody is buying them. EPD
04-15-2017
Jess Soulis [Women, Food and Agriculture Network]
CON
I am a graduate of Iowa States Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture, a board member of the Women, Food and Agriculture Network, a staff member of Lutheran Services in Iowas Global Greens urban agriculture Program, and an Iowan. Whichever of those perspectives I consider, the importance of the work and funding of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture cannot be overstated. I'm commenting on behalf of the Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN) a community of women in sustainable agriculture. Women own or coown nearly half the farmland in the Midwest, and women farmers are leaders in sustainable agriculture. But women are underrepresented on the boards of policymaking bodies and often encounter barriers when accessing information from agencies and institutions. WFAN exists so that women can give each other the information, connections, and encouragement they need to be effective practitioners and supporters of sustainable agriculture and healthy local food systems. The Leopold Center has provided critical funding for WFAN's programming and innovative projects that educate and elevate women farmers, landowners, and others working in healthy food and farming. Women farmers and landowners in Iowa and throughout the Midwest depend upon the research and programs of the Leopold Center to help them overcome the barriers they encounter. The Leopold Center is the only publicly funded sustainable agriculture research center in Iowa, and eliminating this funding would be detrimental, not only to the women who benefit directly from WFANs Leopoldfunded programming, but to the future of the land and people of Iowa as well. Please consider this future and do not cut the funding for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Thank you.
04-15-2017
Anonymous []
CON
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is important to the state of Iowa. I conducted research as a graduate student thanks to LC funding and now live and work in Iowa.
04-16-2017
Ranae Dietzel []
CON
Bear Creek runs through my parents' farm near Radcliffe and when I was growing up the Leopold Center funded a riparian buffer research and demonstration project that covered much of the creek. My parents were not involved in the project, but I drove by with interest and did a 4H project about the buffer, winning an award that went to the State Fair and got me a ticket to attend the World Food Prize where I even met Norman Borlaug. This one Leopold Center project opened my eyes to conservation issues in my state and encouraged my scienceloving mind in ways that five years of detassling corn and a failing high school never could. The next summer I came back from my first year of college in Minnesota and got a job as an undergraduate research assistant working on Bear Creek. This began 14 continuous years of working in agricultural research, including a Master's degree in soil science from Cornell University and a PhD in Crop Production & Physiology and Sustainable Agriculture from Iowa State University. As a postdoctoral research associate, I now have my very own research project funded by the Leopold Center.The Leopold Center supports a lot of good science that helps us understand better farming practices, but one thing it does that no other Iowan institute does is support social and economic projects that are crucial to implementing the science that we know can make a difference for soil and water quality. Creating an elaborate buffer on just one of Iowa's streams has limited value for improving the entire state's water quality. But for the tens of thousands of people that have walked through the buffer, it has had a huge impact. I am just one of those people for which Leopold Center funding had an enormous and lifelong ripple effect. In addition to being a researcher at Iowa State, I am also a fifth generation Iowa farmer. My husband and I, along with our two children, own a dairy farm near Jewell and we make all of our milk into cheese. Implementing sustainable practices on our farm has been easy (like I said, I have a PhD in that stuff), but beginning a new farm in Iowa is almost impossible. In some circles, telling people that your husband is a grassbased cheesemaker is met with confused expressions. We have been very fortunate to have one strong agricultural community that has understood and supported this endeavor, a community in which the Leopold Center is an unwavering leader. As much as I respect the Nutrient Reduction Center, it is difficult for me to envision them filling the same role the Leopold Center has occupied for beginning farmers, especially those not farming corn and soybeans. I wish I could list for you all the times the Leopold Center has supported me as an Iowan, a graduate student, a researcher, and a farmer, but I can't. The Leopold Center doesn't work that way. They contribute small parts to make huge things happen. As a result their name is just in one line at the end of a long paper. Their logo is one of many on posters, conference brochures, field day guides, and roadside signs. We easily took their support for granted until the day we heard they may no longer exist. Now I am not sure how we would function without them. Please do not eliminate the Leopold Center, there is nowhere else where $400,000 does so much good.
04-16-2017
Timothy V. Haight [Director--Iowa Public Television Foundation]
CON
At the heart of Iowa Public Television (IPTV) is "Iowa", through and through . IPTV represents Iowa's largest classroom with free, proveneffective education programming. Nearly 346,000 children age 211 watch IPTV each month; nearly 138,000 people have attended Dan Wardell's Reading Road Trip which encourages kids to turn off TV and read a good book, go outside, and use their imaginations; IPTV broadcasts approximately 650 hours of locally produced programs each year, including IPTV KIDS Clubhouse, Iowa Ingredient, Iowa Press, Market to Market and IPTV Sports coverage of girls high school championships and much more. More than 1.4 million people have visited Iptv.org in the past year. Links to resources benefiting rural and underserved populations include free PBS Learning Media and professional development for teachers.These are among the reasons why I support IPTV. Further budget cuts will seriously impact IPTV's ability to deliver the above and other services to Iowans.
04-16-2017
Anonymous [Iowa State University]
CON
Conservation in Iowa would not be where it is without the support and work of the Leopold Center. Iowa is the most modified state in the nation having converted well over 80% of its native cover to agricultural practices. Soils that once could accept heavy rain fall now are easily eroded, more stream channels exist today than prior to settlement because of the increased runnoff. The Leopold Center has been instrumental in supporting research that has helped developed major conservation practices such as riparian buffers which not are a USDA supported conservation practice across the country. Without initial and early support for that research the buffer practice would probably not have been developed. There is still major work that needs to be done our stream banks are eroding at alarming rates and research is now focusing on ways to reduce those losses of sediment and phophorus that contaminate our rivers and the Gulf of Mexico. It would very shortsighted if the Iowa Legislature removed funding support of the center and would show that it does not care for creating a healthy Iowa landscape.
04-16-2017
Jennifer Hensley []
PRO
Please please we need to keep state / federal programs that support sexual assault / domestic assault victims! Thank U
04-16-2017
Suzan Erem [Sustainable Iowa Land Trust]
CON
I write to oppose the budget cuts to the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture for these reasons: Iowa is now ranked in the Top 10 in number of organic farms, and that only counts the ones that are certified. Thousands of Iowa farmers are using fewer synthetic inputs, and finding a lucrative market for their food and commodities. Last year, Harn Soper, a century farm owner from Emmetsburg sold his organic corn for $12.50 a bushel. Leopold Center helps provide the research for those farmers.Many young people are looking at farming in a new way, one that is not so new to people who have been around a while. They want to get back in touch with the soil. They want to grow fresh food and plant orchards. They want to grow food in the woods. This is labor intensive farming, which means more jobs and more opportunities in our rural communities. Leopold Center was providing the information they needed to get started.The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust was formed based in part on the assumption that the Leopold Center was now an institution in Iowa and all that was left was to improve it increase staffing, increase quality of research. Without Leopold, our young farmers will look to the University of Missouri, University of Wisconsin and University of Minnesota among others. And then they will wonder, why am I in Iowa when all the good information is in other states? Given the size of the Leopold budget compared to the overall budget it will be difficult for Iowa legislators to justify this as anything other than a politicallymotivated budget cut, and people from around the nation who have modeled their own programs on this Center are watching. To draw businesses, jobs and young people, Iowa needs to continue to look innovative. Maintaining the Leopold Center will do that.We are facing the serious challenge of bringing young people back to Iowa and attracting young people to farming. The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust is doing both, but we are doing it with the valuable information that the Leopold Center provides. We have a long way to go before Iowa is known for sustainable farming. Take away the Leopold Center and those opportunities are gone. On behalf of the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust whose leadership includes a broad spectrum of people from Jeff and Bobby Kaufmann to Denise O'Brien and Fred Kirschenmann I request that you restore the Leopold Center funding. Thank you,Suzan Erem
04-16-2017
Anonymous [Community volunteer]
CON
This budget is bad for Iowa. These cuts will be devastating to our vulnerable populations, our higher education system, and our environment. This is a mess of the Republicans' own making corporate giveaways are what depleted a surplus and created this deficit. If this passes, it will take years to make up for the underinvestment in critical areas. Go back to the drawing board, Iowa legislators this is a poor excuse for a budget.
04-16-2017
Cindy Burchett [Iowa Public Television]
CON
Education Budget: Iowa Public Television is an essential component of the budget that has the power to impact every citizen in Iowa. It is an equalizer in education, reaching all ages and all income levels. As a former educator, I have watched IPTV onair and outreach programs bridge the educational gap for disadvantaged children while also providing opportunities for enrichment, creativity and exploration for all. IPTV provides information about our State along with fine arts and historical programming that would not otherwise be produced. The States supportive role for IPTV, along with private funding and grants, is essential to promoting lifelong learning in Iowa. Further cuts would greatly diminish our ability to fulfill an important public service mission. Cindy Burchett, Director Iowa Public Television Foundation
04-16-2017
Christina GIsh Hill []
CON
I am both a resident of Iowa and an Iowa State University professor. The Leopold Center is very important to me and I am asking the Iowa state legislature to please continue funding it. This center has funded one of my most talented graduate students, who is working on the resiliency of seeds. I am also developing a research project with a soil scientist to research and develop a simple, effective, and cheap soil test. We will be working with Iowa farmers to make it more effective and are considering the Leopold Center as a possible funding source, getting us started so we can apply for larger national grants. Our research is designed to help Iowa State further its own goals as a nationally recognized school for agricultural research, but it also is meant to benefit the farmers of the state, big and small. The center attracts researchers and students from all around the nation and the world, bringing recognition to our state and economic growth to Ames and the surrounding communities. Furthermore, the center has sponsored projects that have improved water quality all along the Mississippi River and received national accolades as a result. Finally, researchers use seed money from the Center to pull in larger national grants, bringing more income to the state of Iowa. It produces countless benefits for our state for a considerably low cost.
04-16-2017
Lisa Schulte Moore []
CON
Through the Looking Glass: The Role of the Leopold Center in My Career Success By Lisa Schulte Moore The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is important to me, and Im not alone. This central theme came to my mind as I set to write about the Centers role in helping forge collaborations, leveraging grant dollars, conducting research to benefit farmers while conserving our natural resources, and communicating project results, over my 13.5year career in Iowa. The Leopold Center is important to me because it underwrote a workshop series on the potential for perennials in Midwestern agriculture, which I participated in as a newly minted Ph.D. from Wisconsin. It was through these workshops that I met and was inspired by Dick Schultz and Tom Isenhart, and where first learned about the Bear Creek Riparian Buffer Project. The project is 25 yearsrunning, award winning, and internationally recognized study of the impacts of riparian buffers on stream stability, nutrient cycling, water quality, and wildlife habitat. Since then, I have sought to emulate these two masters in my commitment to meaningful connections with farmers, high quality research, and outstanding teaching and outreach. The Leopold Center is important to me because, as a young faculty member, its staff provided constructive feedback on my research ideas, helping me hone them into something that fit the Centers mission and link with advisory board priorities. The board took a gamble on my first grant with them: $14,998 for a retrospective analysis of land cover change in the Clear Creek Watershed in Iowa and Johnson Counties. This grant helped me start a funding track record, fund one of my first graduate students, connect with landowners, and gather data that led to a couple of my first Iowafocused publications. Center staff continued to push me to think harder about the work I wanted to do and how it could benefit farmers, which laid the groundwork for my current research focus on humanlandscape interactions. In academic circles, this is what I am now known for nationally. The Leopold Center is important to me because it was an early investor and continues to support the STRIPS* project, the most successful project of which Ive had the privilege to be a part. The team began to form during my first semester at Iowa State in 2003, and was able to move from idea to implementation through a $125,000 grant from the Leopold Center in 2004. This fiveyear grant helped fund instrumentation of our initial research site at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, and hire a field technician to coordinate research and efforts among the many project investigators. These roles are critical to generating the high quality data, such associated with STRIPS. The STRIPS data have formed the backbone of more than 250 technical presentations reaching approximately 9,000 people, 16 student theses and dissertations, and 34 peerreviewed publications to date. Research findings have captured the attention of the Iowa agricultural community, inspiring 34 Iowa farmers and farmland owners to implement prairie strips on 2,450 acres of cropland. Farmers and landowners have committed to plant additional prairie strips in Iowa as well as in adjacent states. Prairie strips have also captured the attention of the press, bringing positive national recognition through news outlets such as the New York Times and The Washington Post. The Leopold Center is important to me because its staff and board members help communicate my research results beyond the boundaries of academia. For example, Center staff spearheaded production of prairie strips videos and outreach brochures: A Landowners Guide and Costs of Implementing Prairie Strips, as well as handouts for specific audiences including farmers, technical service providers, and the public. This communications work is an essential connector within the knowledgetoaction pipeline, but not something a young faculty member is poised to do on ones own. In reflecting upon impact that the Leopold Center plays in my career, I also think about my colleagues who have similarly benefitted, and the collective legacy of knowledge we are building on how to profitably, sustainably manage agricultural landscapes. Some of my colleagues include Dick Schultz, Tom Isenhart, and Dan Jaynes with the Bear Creek riparian buffer and saturated buffers work; Matt Liebman, Mike Castellano, and others with the Marsden Farm crop rotation study; Emily Heaton with Longterm Assessment of Miscanthus Productivity and Sustainability (LAMPS). Also Kristen Hofmockel, a former ISU professor, who studies soil microorganisms and nutrient storage, now a lead scientist at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory in Richland, Washington. Her work illustrates the farreaching impact of the Leopold Center. As I travel the country and talk with my colleagues, its clear that these studies put Iowa at the forefront of research on sustainable agriculture. As I travel the countryside and talk with farmers, its clear that they value this work. Both researchers and farmers are inspired and thankful for the Centers role in derisking ideas and the scientifically generated evidence to support farm management decisions. The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is important to me, and Im not alone. Its important to Iowa.
04-16-2017
Jackie Nester [Monroe County Planning Department ]
CON
I am an Iowa State Sustainable Agriculture Almuna (20132015) and I am deeply troubled by the proposal to cut funding for the Leopold Center. The Center provides support to faculty, students, working professionals, farmers, and many more. The publications from the Leopold Center offer researchbased, practical ideas for how to implement more sustainable practices in Iowa's farm fields. As climate change becomes a realty, resources like the Leopold Center, with wellestablished connections between farm communities and researchers, will be ever more important. This Center offers a critical need in the community that cannot be filled by private company's extension networks, or that of Iowa State's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Iowa farmers need publicly funded organizations that are interested in their wellbeing and that of their land, such as the Leopold Center. This is a critical time for the Leopold Center to remain open and continue to foster community among farmers that are striving to do better than just make better profits; these farmers are looking many years ahead and wondering how they can sustainably produce food without destroying the air, water and soil. These are the farmers that Iowa needs to sustain its' farm fields for generations to come. This drastic cut to the Center would ultimately harm farmers and agricultural researchers. At a time when nitrates continue to harm the quality of the drinking water, the Gulf of Mexico dead zone continues to grow, and the weather becomes more extreme, I cannot see how cutting a solid community resource like the Leopold Center that works to combat these issues would be good for Iowans. Please reconsider this budget cut.
04-16-2017
Laura Dickey [NA]
CON
I first want to say thank you for your time. I am very disheartened by the idea of taking away Planned Parenthood as an option of where to receive help with reproductive services. I have been a patient at Planned Parenthood since I was in my early teens. As a sexually active teenager, I honestly had nowhere else to go for this type of care. I needed confidentiality and Planned Parenthood was a sure way for me to receive the sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment I needed without being judged and without my privacy being compromised. I continue to use Planned Parenthood as an adult because I know I will receive nonjudgmental medically accurate high quality care. Had Planned Parenthood not been an option for me as teen I never would have been diagnosed and treated for chlamydia and I would likely be infertile now. I would not have felt safe going to my family doctor for this type of service out of fear my parents would find out. I am sure this is the case for the many patients Planned Parenthood sees every year. I now work at Planned Parenthood in my capacity there I have seen thousands of women and teens receive testing and treatment among many other services that we provide. Many of them college students seeking services they would never go to their family doctor for. I know because they have told me. I know because I was once one of them. Taking Planned Parenthood away from these patients is going to have a huge negative impact on our community. Please vote no on this. Thank you.
04-16-2017
Carrie Chennault []
CON
I am against defunding the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. The Leopold Center has helped support my graduate education and research on local foods and sustainable agriculture in Iowa. I am just one of many students who have been supported by Leopold, and the Center's commitment to innovative sustainabile food and ag research helps make Iowans stronger and healthier. Throughout the Center's 30 year history, they have built a network of farmers, community members, researchers, and students across the state and nationally who are dedicated to sustainable agriculture. Closing the doors of the Leopold Center would be a major loss to the entire sustaibable agriculture community and to future generations of Iowans.
04-16-2017
Anonymous []
CON
The proposed Republican budget is a disaster for all Iowans. Huge cuts in human services will leave those in need without services or opportunities. Cutting funding to programs that serve survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault is devastating to those already in a terrible situation. Multimillion dollar cuts to corrections make workers and all of us less safe. Additional cuts to the regents' universities and community colleges do not square with our stated priority of good quality education. The cuts to and elimination of the Iowa Flood Center and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture are incredibly shortsighted given the climate changes farmers and all of us are already experiencing. And defunding Planned Parenthood will not stop abortion, it will only stop accessible, affordable reproductive healthcare education and services that have decreased unplanned pregnancies and abortion in Iowa. The Republican administration created this situation through mismanagement and favoring corporations over working families over the years. There are other ways to solve the budget "shortfall" than to decimate services to Iowans. Make the real hard choices. Do your job.
04-16-2017
Mary Nelson []
CON
I am deeply concerned about proposed budget cuts to education, justice, health, human service, & other programs. While projected revenues are down for FY 2018, there is an alternative to cutting services reign in business tax credits & other business tax breaks/welfare. In SFY 2015, almost $36 million was paid in refundable tax credits to large multimillion corporations, including RockwellCollins ($12M), Dupont (%7.5M), Deere & Co.(almost $7.5M), etc. In total, business tax breaks will drain $611 million in revenue from the state general fund next fiscal year. It is morally wrong to expect children & families, persons with disabilities & the elderly, to absorb the impact of revenue shortfalls, while multimillion dollar businesses feel no impact at all. Reigning in corporate welfare would go a long way to addressing Iowa's budget dilemma, significantly reducing the need to reduce budgets in key areas such as education, justice, health, human services, & the environment. At a minimum, businesses should have to share in the "belttightening".I am also totally opposed to the proposal to eliminate the family planning Medicaid waiver & replace it with a 100% statefunded program. While I would oppose this even if there was not a shortfall in state revenues, it especially makes no sense to turn away almost $3M in federal funding now. Elimating the Medicaid family planning waiver will both reduce critical family planning services & require cuts to other human services programs, including child welfare, in order to replace the lost federal funding.
04-16-2017
Susan West []
CON
I'm demanding the Iowa Legislature to zeroout all tax credits for all outofstate or large corporations and return your legislator's salary and benefits to the IA Treasury before considering cutting programs for instate programs and agencies. It is irresponsible business practice to put outofstate profits over local citizens' needs and services.
04-16-2017
Anonymous [University of Iowa Student Government]
CON
International students must have enough financial support so they can study in America. International students from the University of Iowa pay over 13,000$ each semester, including tuition, insurance, life expenses, and textbook. Most of the international students come from eastern Asian countries such as China, Japan, and Korea, they face many challenges especially cultural shock, language barrier, and psychological adjustments from stress. These students are far away from home, lack of support from their family. For example, according to a survey done by College Daily(http://www.collegedaily.cn), which is a Chinese international student website, 53% of the Chinese international students used to have thought to commit suicide, over 7000 Chinese international students participate in this research. The University of Iowa provides services such as International Student and Scholar Services, University Counseling Service, and Campus Inclusion Team, help international students build confidence and get involve on campus. My grandpa passed away in China two months ago, due to 10,000 miles away from home and the expensive flight ticket, I missed his funeral and couldnt be with my family. I had a very hard time and reached out for helped. I went to the University Counseling Service and talked to staff from the Internal Student Office, and I got support from my friends in the UI. Without the help from school services, I wont get over from my grandpas death. I am not the only students who went through incidents like this, I believe there are more students like me and need more help from the campus. American students also face challenges such as mental health, stress from school, food affordability, and rent. According to USA daily, over 42,000 American commit suicide each year, and many of them are college students (Sabatke, 2016). Some students cant continue education because of excessive cost tuition, stress, mental health etc. We have homeless students who cant pay for rent or food. Fortunately, we have Food Pantry on campus, which provide students and employees safe and affordable food. Without the financial support from the government, the University of Iowa wont have done many amazing jobs to take care of students from all over the world. Without the support from the college services, I wont become who I am today, a student leader, a survivor, and an advocator who care about other students. The UI makes me a better person.
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04-16-2017
Cindy Bancroft [Mr.]
CON
This budget is bad for Iowa and bad for Iowans. I am particularly concerned about cuts in funding to Iowa's public universities while you are continuing tuition support for private and forprofit students. Public education is the backbone of our quality of life in Iowa. Many of our Regent's University graduates (and in the case of UNI, the overwhelming majority) stay in Iowa, to work, build families, and contribute to our state and local communities in both taxes and as active, caring citizens. We used to value our public spaces in this country. They were the places where all people could come together, as equals, and learn to work for the common good in spite of our many differences. Public education is where this happens best. I want my tax dollars to be spent for the good of Iowans, not corporations that don't provide the jobs promised and don't care about the health of our communities.
04-16-2017
Fay Gish Hill [citizen of Iowa]
CON
A statement to the Agriculture Committee of the Iowa Legislature. April 17, 2017My name is Fay Gish Hill. I live a few miles north of Ames in Story County. I do not have the services of Ames. We are on the Xenia rural water system. I am very concerned about the nitrates in our water. The 2016 water quality report for Xenia states the nitrate level is 9.8, which is just under the level that would be in violation. If it is 10, then it violates the state levels. This system serves 9,400 households which means more people than 9,400. It covers 5 counties. It is large and I know numerous homes are now being added in northern Story County.Two miles south of my house the city of Ames has a n.d. (not detected) level for nitrates. They have a better source of water than Xenia. I buy bottled water. I would be happy to pay more taxes to be sure my family had safe water, and to not have to carry home water every week. It would be less work and worry for me.The Leopold Center has done research on how to lower the nitrates in the water in Iowa. They found several ways. The method I like best is buffer strips of prairie. This has a dual purpose of reducing chemicals in the ground water and supporting pollinating insects like honey bees which we are losing at an alarming rate. Although a solution has been presented, farmers who are involved in extremely large operations are not willing to consider it. They think it will cut into their profitability. They have not considered that if we lose our bees and no longer have drinkable water, they wont be profitable since no one will want to live here to farm the land. The other concern is the long term negative effect of nitrates on the health of our population. There have not been any real long term studies. Could this be a link to Alzheimers? We dont know, but then the Romans did not know the dangers of lead which heavily contaminated their food and water and they wound up with Nero. I always liked to think of the quote, Is this heaven? No its Iowa, but I no longer think this way since in heaven there would be safe water to drink. Another factor is Iowa State is one of the worlds major leaders in agriculture. If the Iowa Legislature and Iowa farmers are not willing to consider the good research coming out of Iowa State and close the Leopold Center, then the world will follow and the contamination of water and the lost of bees could spread around the world. But wait, China is just waiting to be considered the next leader of the world. Will the only environmental research be from China in the future? Maybe we will be buying our apples from China, since we wont have the bees to pollinate them. Esteemed Legislators, do not defund the Leopold Center. Let Iowa continue to be a world leader in agriculture and to lead the world to a safe environment through the work of the Leopold Center. Thank you for considering my position and thoughts when making your decision.
04-17-2017
Deanna Johnson [Planned Parenthood ]
PRO
Planned Parenthood is an essential part of the healthcare system and offers so much more than abortion services. It would be detrimental to many women to lose access to all that these clinics provide to improve the health and wellbeing of their patients.
04-17-2017
Jill Malmer [Tax payer ]
CON
Enough harm to state agencies and workers has already been done this year through de appropriation and collective bargaining bills. Why should the citizens and workers of Iowa be the only ones to sacrifice and bear the burden of the States financial predicament? Please enact corporate tax reform so that we do not remain in this budget mess for years to come.
04-17-2017
Mary Wiedenhoeft [personal opinion]
CON
Good morning.I am Mary Wiedenhoeft, an agronomist at Iowa State University. My job responsibilities include teaching undergraduates and graduate students and investigating cropping systems that can diversify the economic, agronomic, and environmental landscape of Iowa. I grew up on a farm in Iowa and I want agriculture in Iowa to thrive today and in the future. I am particularly concerned about the recent Republican plans to ultimately eliminate the Leopold Center. The Center is visionary, entrepreneurial, a balance between the extreme opinions in agriculture. Their research embraces both profit and environmental protection, providing solutions that protect our state's abundant natural resources, while still providing farmers with a profit. Because of funding from the Leopold Center, I have been able to provide graduate education to three graduate students. All three of these students are currently working for the ag industry of Iowa. Additionally, with Leopold Center funding I have been able to hire and support numerous undergraduate students.I read that some individuals think that the work of the Center has been accomplished. I disagree, we need to be constantly innovative as external pressures change, the need for food continues to increase, and the profit margin of farming shrinks. The Center provides funding to scientists who investigate new innovative cropping systems that can address the issues facing Iowa agriculture. Many of the scientists use the funding from the Leopold Center to test proof of concept. Using preliminary results these scientists have been able to secure major funding from federal and ag industry granters. The Leopold Center provides an important role in educating ISU students who will work in the ag industry and in demonstrating that Iowa agriculture can be both profitable and protect the future of our states natural resources. Do not eliminate the Leopold Center: Iowa agriculture, consumers, and students depend upon it.The opinions expressed above are my own; I am not speaking on behalf of Iowa State University.
04-17-2017
David Stark [personal]
CON
I strongly urge you to reinstate the funding for public broadcasting for IPTV. I am a long time supporter and user of the service and see first hand the impact public broadcasting has made for our family and in fact, most families in the State. It is the single biggest educational component for the underserved and provides so many services to our whole population. IPTV leverages the money it gets from the State with federal funds and is very effective at raising the additional money to make the budget work.This is an Iowa gem and one to be proud of. Please support it the way it should be with full funding. Thank you.
04-17-2017
Tom Frantzen []
CON
I have been involved in activities with the Leopold Center from the very beginning of the Center itself. I have adapted many practices to my farm from programs that I have attended that were sponsored by the Leopold Center. The Center works and it is making a difference. The Leopold Center was created by the Groundwater Protection Act of the Iowa Legislature. GROUNDWATER IS A NONRENEWABLE RESOURCE!. WE need to be going FORWARD in protecting natural resources and not even consider such an insane idea as to close the Center. Our surface water has well documented very serious pollution. With better farming practices we can do things to change that situation but that work is far from being done. Our surface water is a renewable resource. If we exhaust or pollute our groundwater then Iowa agriculture will change and it will not be for the better! The Leopold Center has always been a path for both researchers and farmers to work together for the common good. We have had Leopold Center funded researchers do work on our farm as well as being a part of many farm tours and conference presentations over this 30 year history. Thousands of people have attended these field days and conference sessions. The Leopold Center is a nationwide recognized model of cooperation. The elimination of this Center would be a catastrophic move backwards and I am wholeheartedly opposed to this cut.
04-17-2017
Maurita Murphy Marx [University of Iowa]
CON
Why make cuts to education? The schools are already suffering with facilities, poor teacher salaries, the arts are in jeopardy, sports are overinflated? What's happening to our Iowa values. Iowa values education, period. Get it together people.
04-17-2017
Roxane Mitten [Citizen]
CON
CON" position opposing the proposed cuts and reassignments:1) education budget bill regarding elimination of $400,000 annual appropriation to the Leopold Center from the state's general fund.2) agriculture & natural resources budget bill reassignment of annual revenue from a tax on sales of nitrogen fertilizer that has funded the Leopold Center and directs the closure of the center effective July 2017.
04-17-2017
Tresa Habinck [Concerned - Ex Republican ]
CON
How can you cut financial support for Iowa students who go to UNI, which may lead to tuition increases, but fund financial aid packages for Iowa students who go to forprofit and private colleges and universities. I URGE you to allow UNI students from Iowa access to the Iowa Tuition Grant program. I will remind them that UNI students stay in Iowa and become Iowa taxpayers. 88% of UNI students come from Iowa and 92% of students from Iowa stayed in Iowa after graduating. Stand up and do something right this legislative session. The way you have attacked education, human service, and important programs, environment....and instead have stood with special interests is appalling. I do not recognize the Republican party. Can't wait till the next election. Thank you for your time.
04-17-2017
Angela Conrad []
CON
The proposed budget cuts to Iowa Public Television would be devastating to the citizens of our state. IPTV provides free, effective education to our children without commercial interests. Local programs such as Iowa Ingredient, Market to Market, and high school competitions highlight the diversity and culture of our state and promote civic interaction. IPTV is a rich resource for arts, education, and entertainment and a muchneeded respite accessible to all of our citizens. When deliberating funding, please consider the needs of all Iowans who depend upon IPTV and please continue to support IPTV.
04-17-2017
Michael Duffy [Professor emeritus, Economics, Iowa State University ]
CON
The Leopold Center offers management alternatives for farmers and others. These options are evaluated on profitability, impact on the community, and the environment. The options evaluated build human capabilities as such there usually isn't a product or commercial incentive for companies to do the same work or sponsor researchers. The work is for public gain (clean water, hunting oppportuniies, saving soil, fishing, and so on) it is more efficient if the public help support the work to be sure it gets done...Thank you
04-17-2017
Douglas Gronau [Leopold Center]
PRO
I have been on the Leopold Center Advisory Board for nearly a Decade and currently serve as it's Chairman. I represent the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. The Leopold Advisory Board is a unique and various blend of academics, government employees, agriculturebusiness groups, and farmers, all with various interests. This blend of ideas provides, in my opinion, a great cross section to advise the Director on projects to Fund and the operation of the Center.I am a farmer and I view the Leopold Center as a bridge to sustainability for Iowa Agriculture. The Leopold Center has shown Iowa Agriculture the way. Leopold is very cutting edge and forward looking. It's value can only be appreciated over time. A look at the Iowa Nutrient Strategy will show recommended projects for Iowa Agriculture. Over eighty per cent began as funded Leopold Center projects. The Leopold Center has proven it's value for Iowa time and again. I urge support for the Leopold Center. After all, it is an Iowa institution and trademark .
04-17-2017
Anonymous [Planned Parenthood]
CON
Nya Makazas Planned Parenthood storyMy name is Nyasha Makaza and Im a Zimbabwean immigrant studying in the U.S. on an F1 for 2 bachelor degrees.As an immigrant, even one whose presence in the U.S. is authorized, there are very limited social services that I have access to. I pay taxes and do everything Im supposed to do in order to stay in the U.S. and keep my visa status, but I dont have any health insurance and as an active, young person, thats pretty scary. I basically have to be careful all the time and make sure that I dont get ill or injured in anyway because if I did, I dont have enough money to see the doctor or go to the E.R to get the treatment I need.Last year, I started birth control and the Iowa Family planning waiver is the only way that I was able to have access to this birth control. If it werent for this waver, I dont even know if Id have access to birth control at all. If it werent for Planned Parenthood helping me, Im not sure how able or comfortable I would have been to schedule an appointment with a doctor in order to receive the services that I needed.Planned Parenthood and the Iowa Family Planning Waiver are the only resources I have to ensure my general reproductive health. Planned parenthood is extremely accessible and resourceful and this is also very important. These resources are the only ones a lot of other immigrant/refugee women have for their reproductive health. We do so much for the state of Iowa, especially its workforce and if anything at all, we deserve to be assured that at the very least, we have access to female health services.
04-17-2017
Rachel Zuckerman [University of Iowa Student]
CON
I am incredibly disappointed by the proposal to cut the Iowa victim services budget. As a student at the University of Iowa, I am all too aware that nearly 25% of UI women will experience sexual assault during their four years on campus. The Rape Victim Advocacy Program and Domestic Violence Intervention Program are important partners who care for our students after they are impacted by this horrific, lifechanging trauma. Leaders from both organizations have been outspoken about the fact that these cuts would severely hamper their ability to do their work effectively. In addition to servicing Iowa City, these programs serve Iowans throughout the state. Victim services are already underresourced, and the effects of these cuts would be devastating. If there is any issue that Republicans and Democrats can agree on, I surely hope it is caring for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. I highly urge the Justice Budget Subcommittee to reconsider these proposed cuts.
04-17-2017
John Olthoff []
PRO
I am not able to attend the hearing but I would like to provide my input on the budget funding for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. To not fund the Leopold Center would be very shortsighted on the part of the Iowa Legislature. The Leopold Center was initiated to address the needs of agriculture in Iowa. It has served its purpose well, providing necessary research information and initial support for many programs in the state. This funding has been an investment in diversification of Iowa agriculture which has significant economic return for the state. Even if you only consider the financial ramifications, the Leopold Center is an economic investment that should be continuedMore importantly is the role with environmental impact and water quality. If the legislature is committed to the value of Iowa's water and land, as it says it is, than one of the groups that is most instrumental in providing research and guidance in that area needs continued funding. That also is an investment in Iowa's future.Please continue the support for the Leopold Center. It is the right thing to do.
04-17-2017
Kathy Dice [Red Fern Farm]
CON
I have valued the Leopold Center since it's creation. I value the research it has helped to fund on sustainable agriculture and clean water. As a farmer and longtime resident of Iowa, I feel we need more institutions like the Leopold Center, not fewer.
04-17-2017
Shami Lucena Morse []
CON
I strongly urge that you do not defund and do not close the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.I write to you as one of the rapidly increasing number of women landowners who care passionately about our family farms. My ancestors settled our land in Iowa County in 1956, where my siblings and I were born and raised. Our family has always cared for the land with great love and care, earning several conservation awards over the years.The Leopold Center has been instrumental in providing research, information, and support for families like ours. In 2015 we established prairie strips on the farm, as part of the STRIPs program supported by ISU and the Leopold Center. This is an extremely important project with great potential as a practical approach to fulfilling the Nutrient Reduction Strategy.The Leopold Center has also been a strong supporter of Women, Food and Agriculture Network, whose Women Caring for the Land program and annual conferences I have attended and benefitted from. I have also benefitted as an active member of Practical Farmers of Iowa and the Iowa Farmers Union, both of which are important research partners of the Leopold Center.Closing the Leopold Center would be extremely shortsighted.
04-17-2017
Linda Bindner [Farmer, self employed]
PRO
During the past 30 years, the Leopold Center has supported research initiatives that have pointed to the future for Iowa farmers. I served on the original Board of the Leopold Center and have watched it grow. The Center has helped farmersincluding not only those producing traditional row crops but also those involved in fruit and vegetable production and responsible animal agriculture to develop and implement sustainable practices that reduce water pollution and promote soil health.Over the years the Leopold Center has developed in international reputation for leadership and service to the agricultural community as well as cutting edge research. Please oppose the budget cuts that will divert the funds from the tax to nitrogen fertilizers away from the Leopold Center as established by the Groundwater Protection Actthose changes are not in the best interest of Iowa researchers, Iowa farmers or the State of Iowa as a whole.Thanks for your consideration of this important issue. Linda Bindner5838 D AvenueMarcus, IA 51035
04-17-2017
Matt Lehman []
CON
I oppose the effort to remove funding to the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. As an adult office worker who grew up on a farm, and with two brothers involved in agriculture both onfarm and off, I am keenly aware of how difficult it is to start as a young farmer. The Leopold Center, through research and the publicly available work it supplies in support of small farms, has been and will continue to be an avenue for our young people to advance in pursuing their dreams of rural life. A vote for the Leopold Center is a vote for the rural future of Iowa. Thank you.
04-17-2017
Anonymous [Golden Hills RC&D]
CON
I believe that this budget is flawed in many ways the cutting of the Leopold Center, defunding of Loess Hills Alliance, and cutting the funding for Hungry Canyons in half for FY19 is all very detrimental to not only Iowa and its citizens but for travelers and others who depend on the research and work done by those organizations.
04-17-2017
Anonymous [Laughlin Farms]
CON
I oppose the closing and defunding of the Leopold Center. As a young farmer who is trying to do as much as possible to promote sustainable ag, the work of the Leopold Center has been and continues to be very important. As a western Iowan, I also oppose the defunding of the Loess Hills Alliance. The work that the Loess Hills Alliance does is crucial to the continued preservation of this great natural landmark.
04-17-2017
Jacob Simpson [University of Iowa Student Government]
CON
Hello, my name is Jacob Simpson. I am Presidentelect of the University of Iowa Student Government. I am here to discourage you from passing the proposed $6.2 million deappropriation to the University of Iowa. The University cannot afford this cut. To pass another deappropriation would be to shrink or eliminate services to Iowans at large. I say Iowans because the University's impact is not restricted to its locale in Iowa City, but rather its reach extends throughout the state to places like my hometown.In Clinton, Iowa where I grew up my high school faced financial adversity, which meant there were not enough teachers to teach courses with advanced curricula. Yet my high school tried to offer its students the opportunity to earn college credit through advanced online courses developed by the University of Iowa BelinBlank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. Because of this service, I was able to take AP Chemistry online my third year of high school and receive college credit, and my friends took AP Physics and AP Economics. I have younger brothers who have yet to finish high school, and I believe that they deserve access to the same opportunities I had, but the deappropriation you are considering along with the years of deappropriating until now, make it less and less likely that my brothers and future students in Clinton will have the same opportunities that benefited me.In addition to the services that the University of Iowa has provided to my hometown, it has historically provided affordable, quality education, which is critical for the wellbeing of Iowa's economy. My grandparents and parents are proof of the value of affordable and quality public higher education in Iowa. They all could barely afford their higher education, but because of their degrees, they were able to do well for themselves and their communities as teachers, a biochemical engineer, and a budget analyst. If college would have been more expensive back then, they would not have been able to get their jobs. In fact, I doubt they could afford college today because tuition has been increased to account for a lack of support from the State. Just after my parents graduated from college, state support for public higher education in Iowa was much greater than it is now. For example, in 1997, the University of Iowa was appropriated the equivalent of $321 million dollars today. That figure is more than $100 million more than the proposed appropriation for this year. Tuition will be increasing drastically just to keep the University of Iowa viable. With the increase in tuition, it saddens me to think of Iowans like my grandparents and parents who will not be able to get good jobs that benefit themselves, their families, and the whole of Iowa.In summary, please do not pass the $6.2 million deappriopriation. Iowans deserve a thriving University of Iowa that contributes to the education, economy, and health of the State. The budget is tight this year, but the Legislature has the power to prioritize, and for the sake of students and Iowans, this deappropriation should not pass.
04-17-2017
David A Krug [constituent]
CON
The budget, as proposed, is unacceptable. The shortage of funds to properly support the necessary work of government has been caused by the giveaway of revenue to large corporations. It is time to recognize that the failed concept of reducing taxes to increase business activity has and will continue to destroy the very fabric of government that all of our citizens expect and rely on every day. Nearly every day I see articles and news related to individuals being harmed due to the failure of state government policies in Iowa. Decisions made by the Republican governor/lieutenant governor, their administration and the Republican legislature are anticitizen and uncaring beyond an common reasoning or common sense.The budget shortages need to be addressed by a MAJOR cutbacks, immediately, in the tax credits and tax giveaways to big business that are not providing benefits to Iowa Citizens. Far too much of the money ends up going out of the state. There is no accountability with regards to any true effectiveness of the practices of these corporate giveaways.Effective state government that truly invests in the CITIZENS of our state works to help those who are disadvantaged for any reason requires adequate funding. The budget, as proposed, will hurt the very people that our government should be standing up for and protecting. The legislature should be looking for revenue, not cutting programs.
04-17-2017
Joe Stutler [Mr.]
CON
Vice President Joe Biden famously said, "Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value."The Iowa Republican legislators have shown us what they value, and it's not Iowans, nor good governance, nor public safety, nor national security. Very disappointing to see them pander for their own personal gain.
04-17-2017
Iowa Utility Groups [Iowa Utility Groups]
PRO
Written comments in support of Iowa Energy Center transfer included in SSB 1196.
Attachment
04-17-2017
Joan K. Amos [Lucas County Democrats]
CON
Because of massive tax cuts for big business, Republicans expect, we the people, to make up for the loss of all those tax dollars. You have made a mess out of the budget, but surely you can do better than cut all the domestic programs you are wanting. Please straighten out your budget!!
04-17-2017
Ann Y. Robinson []
CON
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture represents great value for Iowa and Iowa farmers thanks to its leadership in the areas of practical farmerfriendly research and education around conservation and farm economics, marketing and food systems, and interdisciplinary education of college students. Given the Centers past successes and innovations yet to come, it is hard to comprehend why some at the Statehouse would see its work as completed.The elimination of the important work of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and the Center itself are so shortsighted that it is hard to conceive. The Centers efforts benefit Iowa and especially rural Iowa in so many ways. Despite a small budget, they have improved farmers bottom lines through: research; support of ongoing learning about effective and practical conservation technologies; and encouragement of rural economic development that enhances quality of life and health of citizens statewide.
04-17-2017
Romonia Dinkla [citizen]
CON
Keeping the bright minds in Iowa has always been a major concern that I hear about from legislators and business people. The Leopold Center is one of the ways to keep bright minds in Iowa doing research and then later business in Iowa. The needed research is in no way finished. I have read that a tax on fertilizer is where the money for funding programs like this actually comes from. If you are to eliminate funding, are you also eliminating the tax?
04-17-2017
Matthew Peirce []
CON
"Show me your budget and I'll tell you your priorities."These priorities are COMPLETELY BACKWARDS. They do NOT help our state. Increased cost of college; for whom does that make life better? (HF 642/SF 511) Certainly not the students with the increased debt load. Slashing funding for early education, interventions and preschool; for whom does that make life better? (HF 642/SF 511)Certainly not the children who want to work hard and learn, but come from tough circumstances due to the color of their parents' skin, religion or any other object of bigotry and hatred.Nearly one quarter reduction in assistance to victims of domestic abuse; for whom dos that make life better? (HF 644)Certainly not those who have been beaten, kicked out of their homes, raped, molested, imprisoned, and traded like property.Fewer corrections officers at Iowa's prisons; for whom does that makes life better? (also HF 644)Certainly not those whose jobs don't get cut and who are at more risk of being hurt or killed by unruly behavior of inmates.25% reduction to REAP and close the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at ISU (HF 641); for whom does that make life better?Certainly not Iowans who like to enjoy parks and waterways; certainly not those who believe plants and animals play an important part of sustaining life on Earth.Cut job training & assistance for Iowans with disabilities (HF 642/SF 511); for whom does that make life better?Certainly not our neighbors with disabilities who desperately want to contribute to our society and make a positive difference for themselves and others by doing work that brings them a sense of worth and wellbeing.Slash funding for child care assistance & grants for foster kids to go to college (Human Services); for whom does that make life better?Certainly not those who have small children who need care so they can work. Certainly not foster children who are the most disadvantaged in our society and who need college education the most.Reduction to Cultural Trust Fund & tourism to improve quality of life (Economic Development); for whom does that make life better?Certainly not those who may be interested in visiting our state.The question must always be asked: Who benefits? Who pays?The people of Iowa are NOT benefiting from these budget proposals.The people of Iowa are paying a heavy price for these proposals, and the quality of life will greatly drop.Who is benefiting from any of this? NOT IOWANS!