The Iowa House has followed the lead of the Senate and approved a proposed constitutional amendment to dedicate a portion of future sales tax increases to the environment. The resolution would dedicate three-eighths of the next penny sales tax hike to water quality, soil conservation, and outdoor recreation.
Representative Paul Bell, a Democrat from Newton, says the state’s waterways are in poor condition. "The bill is all about protection, enhancement, management of our natural resources," Bell says.
Belll says if we want to expand Iowa’s workforce and expand business in the state, they need to provide outdoor recreation and a cleaner environment, as "quality of life" factors are important considerations. Representative Phil Wise, a Democrat from Keokuk, wants a clean environment but not by amending the constitution.
"If you vote for it, expect to be asked to vote for all the other areas we deem to be important," Wise told his colleagues. The resolution must now pass the next general assembly, before being put to a popular vote.