I started off the week by visiting with the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.
They are currently seeking funding to build a new facility to handle the extensive case load that is processed through the lab every day. In 1976 the lab was processing about 16,000 cases per year and in 2017 they processed 80,000 cases. This increased case load increases the concern for compromised biosafety hazards.
The need for these labs is mirrored by the great impact that a potential outbreak poses on Iowa’s economy. It is estimated that if an outbreak occurred an impacted only 1 percent of Iowa’s animals that the economic impact would surpass $300 million. After taking the tour it was very evident to me that a new facility should be a priority for the state legislature.
In other news the house passed SF512 which will establish a long-term source of funding for water quality projects across the state. The advances that this bill makes will ensure that Iowans will have access to clean drinking water, while also making strides toward improving the preservation of Iowa’s natural resources so they will be available to future generations.
Though this bill is a step in the right direction this is not the end of the water quality discussion. I am committed to continuing to work on this issue to keep Iowa’s lakes, rivers, and streams clean. HF 2008 is a bill that will work to improve the function of water shed management authorities. I believe that this is an example of our continued commitment to improving our water quality legislation.
This week also included Community College Day here on the hill. I was visited by the students from Clinton and Scott Community College. I was pleased to show them around the capitol and to share with them the long standing traditions associated with the Iowa legislative process.
If you have interest in any particular bill or would like to know where it is in the process, please contact me and I will do my best to try and keep you up-to-date. You can also follow bills on the legislative website once you know the bill number at www.legis.iowa.gov.
Iowa Rep. Norlin Mommsen represents District 97 in the Iowa House of Representatives. His district covers much of rural Clinton County and part of northern Scott County.