Republicans in the Iowa House are urging their G-O-P counterparts in the Senate to quickly pass a bill that’ll extend 17-and-a-half million to farmers for soil conservation measures. The bill provides emergency money to replace gambling tax money that had been used for the projects, but is no longer being paid to the state because of the lawsuit over taxes paid by the race tracks. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a republican from Sioux City, says last week the House endorsed a bill that provides an alternative funding source.Rants says if Senators aren’t going to resolve the gambling issue next week, they need to pass that bill so farmers can begin work now. House Republican Leader Chuck Gipp of Decorah says the money’s used for a variety of soil conservation measures, like building terraces in farm fields or planting grasses along streams that’re called buffer strips. Gipp says it’s a “time sensitive issue” because the work has to be done now, before farmers plant their crops. He says waiting another three weeks will mean a season’s been lost. While the state does provide millions in soil conservation money that farmers must match, the federal government provides the majority of help for farmers who plan such projects.
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