The Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance 
MAY 15th 
2015 Legislative Update 
Time is of the Essence!
We have 1 week to convince our legislators to take action in the House and Senate!
Important Message along I-35

Update from The Board of Directors

Senate File 506 has still not moved to  the Senate Floor for debate.
HSB 249  has also not moved out of The House Government Oversight Committee and on to the House floor for debate. 

The legislative process includes working with leadership members to bring bills out of committee and also on to the floor for debate and finally a vote by all legislators in the House and Senate. 

Since both of these bills are still alive but have not been brought to the floor for vote - 
We need your help to contact as many members of the House and Senate as possible.   Focus on asking them work with their leadership to move these bills to the floor for debate and vote.

In our discussions with our lobbyists we understand the Senate will not be debating or passing bills this week and the House will only work on the "Standing Appropriations bill" which was passed in the Senate last week. The following week (May 25th - May 29th) could be the last week of the session depending on the budget work that needs to be completed.   So this does give us this entire week,  next weekend and the first days the last week of May to work with legislators. 

All if the information you need to contact Senators and Representatives is in this newsletter.  We also included information on how to contact House and Senate leadership. 

Like many of you I have not paid attention over the years to the true legislative process and all of the layers (sub committee, committee, bills changing numbers,  majority leader role, etc) so this seems like we are doing the same thing over and over again. I do know that many of you have already done a good deal of work by contacting legislators but we need to continue to do as much as possible through the end of this session.  

I also cannot over emphasize how very very critical your help is and that we only have this week, next weekend and perhaps the first few days of the last week of May to make a difference. 

Thank you very much for continuing to do this important work!!!
Carolyn Sheridan 
Board of Director President 
On Behalf of The Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance 
Leg islative Information

House Study Bill 249 needs to come out of committee and on to the House floor for debate. 
Senate File 506 needs to move to the Senate Floor for debate.

Contact Representatives
Senators NOW! 

Contact Representatives across the state with this message: 
"We need your help to allow HSB 249 to come out of committee to be debated on the House floor. "

Contact Senators across the state with this message. 
"Please ask your leadership to debate SF 506 on the Senate Floor." 

To email Representatives -   click here to be directed to the Iowa Legislature  House page which gives you their contact information. 

To email  Senators - click here to be directed to Iowa Legislature Senate page which gives you  their contact information.

To contact  House and Senate Leadership members from House and Senate: 
Click here to be directed to the Legislative Leadership page  that shows all Leadership members. 

Senate Majority Leader is Michael Gronstal 
House Majority Leader is Linda Upmeyer 
Speaker of the House is Kraig Paulsen

Respectfully request that they bring these important bills to the House or Senate floor for debate and also tell them your personal story.

These pages also provide phone numbers (including some home phone numbers) and mailing addresses.  You should feel free to contact legislators at home during this process.  

What should you include in your  communication  with legislators?
  1. Ask them to work with their leadership as stated above so action can be taken in the House and Senate on both bills.
  2. Your personal story and why you opposed to the misuse of eminent domain.
  3. Key points you may consider adding:
    • There are no bench marks for the IUB to look towards for the number of voluntary easements that must be obtained before eminent domain will be granted. A minimum number of 75% voluntary easements should be part of the IUB criteria.
    • There are currently less than 15% voluntary easements signed in the entire state of Iowa. This is after 20 months of work by RICL land agents.  We do not see this changing. 
    • These bills provide guidance to the IUB in handling petitions by merchant transmission companies that request the right of eminent domain as part of their petition for a transmission franchise. 
    • Eminent domain should not be used by a private company for private purposes to locate a "merchant transmission line" that will not provide any electricity to any Iowan.  We believe very strongly that allowing eminent domain to be used in such a situation is an abuse of the eminent domain process.
What do these bills do? 
The bills in the Senate and the House do five things:
  • First,  these bills  require that before these companies can be given the power of eminent domain, the agency in state government that is responsible for energy development - the Iowa Economic Development Authority - must recommend that the proposed project  be built in its annual report under Iowa Code section 473.15.  This addresses the need for ongoing planning that is not currently met by our state law.
  • Second, the bills require that before these companies can be given the power of eminent domain, they must acquire 75% of the land needed for a project through voluntary easements.
  • Third, the bills require that the companies seeking voluntary easements are subject to the complaint and investigation authority of the Iowa Utilities Board in section 476.3(1).
  • Fourth, they increase the financial responsibility for crude oil pipeline projects from $250,000 total to $500,000 or more per county.
  • Fifth, the bills provide additional landowner protections - including access to legal counsel if the board finds there is good cause to make the companies pay for legal counsel for affected landowners - to assist landowners who are facing eminent domain by companies which are not public utilities, which do not have a duty to serve Iowans, and which are not subject to ongoing supervision and planning by the Iowa Utilities Board.
Updated Numbers 
Voluntary Easements:   Less than 15% 
The number of voluntary easements remain flat with 176 registered at county court houses in all 16 counties. The Alliance checks each county court house weekly to monitor these numbers. 
Objections:  1321 formal objections 
  Click to see table   with numbers in each county as of May 15th  

Look for this Post Card in your Mail 

Pass this post card along to other community members in your area. Ask for their assistance in writing to legislators even if they are not on the proposed RICL line project. 

Private property rights should be of concern to all citizens of Iowa.  The more people legislators hear from the better chance we have of convincing them to take action this session. 
May 14th Commstock Report 

On May 14th David Kruse, president of CommStock Investments, Inc. focused on the proposed RICL transmission line and the Bakken pipeline "as they relate to a re-examination of how private for profit companies acquire right of ways to build utility infrastructure across Iowa."

Click Here to read this report which also discussed the work we are doing with  legislative action.
Legislators Contact Information 

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: 
Home addresses and phone numbers are available online. 
Or visit our website - Call to Action/Legislation Tab
 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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