T he Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance 
April 3, 2016 Important Legislative Update
Important Update from The Board of Directors

We need your help .  Last week Bobby Kaufmann passed an important bill (HF640) out of the House Oversight Committee.  The bill (with a new number - HF 2448) will now proceed to the floor of the House either Tuesday or Wednesday of this week.  Representative Kaufmann is requesting our assistance to contact legislators as this bill moves to the House floor and then to the Senate.

We are asking you to PLEASE take a few moments of your valuable time to contact legislators even if it is just a brief email, letter or phone call.  This personal contact will be instrumental in providing representatives and senators with the feedback they need to support this important bill in the House and follow up action in the Senate. 

Carney Appleby Law, the lobbyist firm that we hired have proved invaluable in moving this legislation forward. Jim Carney and Doug Struyk keep in constant contact with us which allows our organization to provide feedback on proposed legislation as well understanding what is happening at the Capital. 

Please take time to contact legislators across the state! 

Thank you very much!!!
Have a good spring and stay safe out there! 
Carolyn Sheridan 
Board of Director President 
On Behalf of The Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance 
Leg islative Update

Contact Representatives and Senators NOW!

Legislative action is taking place NOW!
  • HF 2448 will go to the House floor this week. Click here to go to the Iowa Legislature website to read and follow the bill or click here to read the PDF version
  • Follow up action will take place in the Senate. There is not a specific bill at this time but contacting Senators is still vital.  
Important Points: 
  • The Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance has been working with the House Oversight Committee to draft language to address high-voltage direct current power lines being erected across the state of Iowa by private companies for purely economic development reasons.
  • It is our belief that private companies simply moving a commodity (in this case electricity) through the state of Iowa to be used by people in other states should be treated differently than utilities. In particular these companies building merchant lines should not be afforded the right of eminent domain to the same extent as a utility.
  • Iowa must develop a statutory framework to balance private landowner rights against the economic development interests of private companies wanting to build electrical lines for purely economic gain.
  • The legislation authored by the House Oversight Committee sets up a statutory framework to create such a balance between private companies building merchant lines and Iowa private landowners.  HF 2448 does not forbid a company from requesting the power of eminent domain to construct a merchant line but it does put limitations on the extent of the proposed line that may be condemned. In particular, the bill requires the petitioner to have acquired at least 75% of the route voluntarily before the utilities board may even consider their petition.
  • Iowans should not have to live with a potential condemnation and/or construction of huge high-voltage lines on their property for an indefinite amount of time. The bill specifically addresses the length of time that a petitioner can keep their filing open with the utilities board.  The bill accomplishes this by requiring the utilities board to grant a franchise within two years of the first County informational meeting held by the petitioner.
  • The bill also changes the definition of public that the utilities board must apply when determining public interest or benefit. When reviewing a petition for construction of a merchant line, the board must only consider consumers located in Iowa as compared to consumers both inside and outside of Iowa.
  • We all impacted landowners, family members and community members to ask for the legislator's support of the legislation so that we can there is sufficient guidance to the utilities board when they are faced with a petition to construct a merchant line.
Call, Email or Write y
our Legislator and other legislators from all areas of the state.  Ask them to support legislation that will help protect Iowa landowners. 

What should you include in your communication with legislators?

We do not provide "canned letters or messages" since we are told by legislators that your personal letters or emails make a bigger impact.  Here are some suggestions for your letter/email/phone call. 

Tell your personal story - how does this impact you.  
Discuss how long have you known about this project without any idea of when a decision will be made.
Discus your concerns about private property rights. 
Read the points listed above and explain why the bill is important to you. 

Please support 
You can also refer to specific things from your personal situation or the bullet points above.  (we suggest calling or emailing due to short time frame) 

You can say -- "The House will be sending you a Clean Line Bill - when it comes to you in what ever the form -please support the bill." (calling, emailing or writing a letter are all appropriate since the time frame is longer) 

If you want to watch the bill come to the House floor in person you can monitor the
legislature calendar at the Iowa Legislature Website   to see which date this bill is placed on the calendar. The calendar is not posted for next week yet .  The calendar is very fluid based on debates related to many items on a daily calendar.  Representative Kaufmann appreciates all personal support at the capital but also respects your time so he believes that contacting legislators by phone, email or letter is also very effective. 


To call your legislator during session:
Representatives: 515.281.3221
Senators: 515.281.3371
Ask to be transferred to their desk.

To write your legislator during session:
(Legislator Name)
1007 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

To email your legislator call the numbers above or visit the Iowa Legislative website: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/ 
Representatives: www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/house
Senators:  www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/senate
Home addresses and phone numbers are available online.   
Or visit our website - Call to Action/Legislation Tab
Please consider contacting other legislators besides the ones in your district.   Not all legislators are aware of the concerns of landowners impacted by the RICL proposed high voltage transmission line. 
To Monitor Activity ONLINE:   Go to the 
Legislature Website:   https://www.legis.iowa.gov/ 
Watch live debate, find information about legislators, lobbyists and committee schedules.  
Current status 
Voluntary Easement s: Remain at less than 15% 
There are 176 voluntary easements registered at county court houses in all 16 counties.  in order to set a date for a public hearing - all franchise petitions in all 16 counties accorss the state must be deemed "in order." This means that each parcel of land in each county must have either a voluntary easement or an Exhibit E must be presented to the IUB.

RICL (Clean Line) officially requested the IUB to suspend all work on the petitions for franchise nearly 1 year ago.  NO further work can be done by the IUB at this time meaning the entire process is at a stand still.
Landowners at western end of the transmission line were notified of this project and their Informational meeting date in July 2013.  This means it has been nearly 
3 years since the first landowners were informed of RICL's plan  to erect a high voltage transmission line on their property with the threat of eminent domain to take private property. 
 Visit our website for updated information


Our goal is to provide you with the information you need all in one location.  Weekly updates will help keep you informed of what is happening across the state and in your county.  The website provides a way for the Alliance to update you on a real time basis. 
Click here to visit website

 Web pages include:

  • General Information
  • Community Meetings
  • Publicity
  • Maps
  • Legal information
  • How to file your objection 
  • Eminent Domain
  • News
  • Governance
  • Call to Action
  • Letters
  • Contact Information
  • Photos
  • Links to other organizations
  • Health Informaton


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