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Recent posts by Cody Smith

Iowa Legislative update - June 23, 2020

This year’s legislative session in Iowa was unprecedented. Taking place in two separate parts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state lawmakers adjourned for the final time this year on June 14. The final action of the Legislature was to pass a mostly status quo budget that closely aligned with last year’s spending levels. While it was an unusual year and several bills we supported were shelved, all progress wasn’t lost. 

Rural Iowans asked for views on flooding, water quality

Too many times, rural Iowans have been the farmers, homeowners, and small business owners who waded the high flood waters to salvage what they could after record-breaking floods. 

They have been the ones who thought twice before enjoying recreational activities on Iowa’s lakes and rivers because of concerns about the quality of the water splashing along the banks. 

Grappling with COVID-19, Congress can leverage solar energy

Wiping out the last five years of solar job growth, the COVID-19 pandemic has reset total employment in the U.S. solar industry back to 2014 levels.

As recently as 2019, the solar industry employed 250,000 Americans in all 50 states. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the novel coronavirus has decimated growth in the industry, which will now employ 188,000 Americans through June 2020. This new reality is a 38 percent drop from the 302,000 originally forecasted. Meanwhile, during the second quarter of 2020 (April, May, and June), the country lost out on 3 gigawatts of solar energy deployment, the equivalent of powering 288,000 American homes.

Iowa Legislative update - June 2, 2020

The Iowa Legislature suspended its session on March 15 as a precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19. But, this week, that suspension ends and the Legislature is set to resume on Wednesday. Though there’s not a firm deadline for the end of this unprecedented session, we don’t expect it to last longer than a couple of weeks, if even that long. The Legislature has a few key priorities to address including allocating resources from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and completing the state’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.