Governor's "Bold Initiative" on Water Quality Under Scrutiny

Jan 14, 2016

There were signs from the statehouse today that Governor Branstad’s new water quality initiative may face a tough slog in the legislature, in both the Republican House and the Democratic Senate. 

The Governor wants to take part of a state sales tax intended for schools, and spend it instead on water quality.  

Republican House Speaker Linda Upmeyer says some House Republicans don’t support that.

“I don't think anyone favors having a pot of money without a plan,” Upmeyer says.  “We want to make sure we’re doing it smart.”

Upmeyer says the governor got the conversation started, but House Republicans are “all over the map” over the proposal.

“We have members of the caucus who support doing that and we have members who don’t,” Upmeyer says.   

Upmeyer says the governor welcomes other ideas for improving water quality, and House Republicans will be considering other options in addition to the governor’s plan.

Democrats and other school advocates are skeptical. 

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal says under state law, it will take a 2/3 majority vote in the legislature to use the tax for anything but school infrastructure and property tax relief.