The Iowa Department of Public Safety has ordered an end to electrical inspections on Iowa farms. But the president of the Iowa Senate says the Branstad administration is breaking the law.
Earlier this year, the governor asserted that Iowa law exempts farms from the inspections ordered by the Electrical Examining Board. Branstad says farmers have safely inspected their own barns and grain bins for years. “The electrical board did an end run around the law by specifically circumventing the intent of the legislature when they exempted farmers. We’re protecting farmers against overreach by an agency,” Branstad said of the DPS action.
Senate President Jack Kibbie questions Branstad’s conclusion that state law exempts farmers and Kibbie believes the move threatens public safety. Branstad doubts that’s the case. “We’ve had no real (electrical) fires….in terms of public safety, they need to be focusing on homes and businesses…farmers have done these things for years,” Branstad said.
Kibbie has asked the attorney general if suspending the inspections is illegal. Farmers argue their outbuildings aren’t like other commercial buildings.