A key decision-maker in the Iowa Legislature says Iowa’s "bottle bill" will not be altered in any way this year.
Governor Chet Culver has been pushing to change the law by, for example, including more drink containers under the five-cent-deposit-and-return-for-redemption system.
But Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says there’s just no agreement on what changes should be made to the 30-year-old law.
"We saw a lot of people concerned about those issues, a lot of different angles, a lot of different pieces to it," Gronstal says. "But when it was all said and done I don’t think there was a way to reach consensus in the legislature…There’s probably 10 votes for six different versions of change to the bottle bill." The governor isn’t willing to accept defeat yet on the bottle bill expansion.
Culver is also calling on Gronstal to reconsider and make a business tax change which Culver says will close a loophole that helps some businesses escape paying corporate taxes to the state. "I am going to continue to fight on behalf of the people of this state and I will continue to push the legislature to have a debate and discussion on these two issues and others as we move forward," Culver says.
In January Culver suggested doubling the bottle and can deposit fee in Iowa to a dime and having some of the money raised funneled to the state treasury to pay for environmental programs. Culver’s abandoned that approach, however. Culver told a meeting of grocers this week that he still wants to find some way to include water bottles and other drink containers that aren’t covered by the bottle deposit so more bottles and cans will be recycled.