Five members of the Iowa House of Representatives will soon meet to reviewthe idea of giving start-up airline “AccessAir” a 10-million dollar stateloan. This past April, the Iowa Senate endorsed the loan, but the Houserefused to debate the idea. Republican House Speaker Brent Siegristof Council Bluffs appointed the five-member panel this morning.Members of the panel include republican Representatives Libby Jacobs of WestDes Moines, Beverly Nelson of Marshalltown, Bob Brunkhorst of Waverly,Carmine Boal of Ankeny and Steve Kettering of Lake View. Siegrist hopes thegroup can answer concerns legislators have raised about the loan’s risk.Critics say the 1999 legislature’s failure to provide the loan for AccessAirshows rural interests have too great a control over the legislature. Siegrist rebuffs that charge. Siegrist says he owes it to “the businesstraveler and to the average Joe who flies” to examine the loan for theairline, which provides cheaper fares to destinations like Los Angeles andNew York. Siegrist says other bills in other years have been lost in thelast minute as the legislature moved to close. He says that’s what happenedto the “AccessAir” bill this year.
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