A small group of Senators will meet again today (Thursday) to talk about revamping Iowa’s “Bottle Bill.” The two rookie lawmakers who’re on the subcommittee say they see no compromise on the horizon. Senator Tom Hancock, a democrat from Epworth, says he didn’t realize how sticky an issue this was until he began sitting in on these statehouse meetings. “I think that’s a pretty good term — quagmire,” Hancock says of the process so far. He isn’t ready to give up, though. Hancock says it’s too bad that people littered back in the ’70s, prompting passage of the bottle and can redemption law which encourages Iowans to keep their empties and return them for a nickle deposit. Legislators are considering giving redemption centers two cents rather than just the penny per can they get today. That would make redemption centers more profitable, and perhaps help some grocery stores get out of the business of taking back empties if a redemption center opened nearby. Senator Brian Schoenjahn, a democrat from Arlington, is the other rookie lawmaker who’s in the small group working on this issue. Schoenjahn says he’s gotten a lot of letters from redemption center managers who say they’ll have to go out of business because they’re not making enough money. Schoenjahn says the issue’s been “rattling around” the statehouse for years, and they’re going to try to find some resolution. Yesterday’s subcommittee meeting ended abruptly after two lobbyists got into an argument. “I haven’t heard either side willing to offer anything else except ‘No’,” Schoenjahn says. “We may ask if there are solutions, if there are compromises from all of these highly-paid folks.” The “Bottle Bill” subcommittee meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. today.
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