T he Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance 
May 1st 2015 Legislative Update  
Call for Immediate Action
New Message along I-35 between Ames and Des Moines 

Important Update from The Board of Directors

During this busy planting season we will continue to provide you with important updates regarding legislative activities.  This is a critical week at the capitol and we need to make sure we get two important bills out of the Government Oversight Committees in the House and the Senate.

As bills move through this process their numbers will change so it can be hard to know what to refer to when you write the legislators.  These bills may also not be updated with language from the sub committee meetings or amendments may not occur until the committee meetings. We understand this can be complicated so this newsletter provides the important information regarding these bills.  For example HF 649 is now HSB 249. This is why we ask that you include "support these bills with amendments" in your communication with legislators. 

Right now we only need your help to write the members of the Government Oversight Committees. 
We are asking you to PLEASE take a few moments of your valuable time to contact the 12 members of these committee even if it is just a brief email, letter or phone call.  
This personal contact will be instrumental in making certain these bills are passed out of committee. 

Once these bills pass out of committee the hard work of contacting ALL legislators in the House and Senate will begin.  We will provide you with that information as soon as possible.

We are providing a clickable link to each members personal page on the Iowa Legislature website  in this newsletter so you do not have to waste valuable time looking for this information.  

Thank you very much!!!
Carolyn Sheridan 
Board of Director President 
On Behalf of The Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance 
Leg islative Update

On April 28th SSB 1276 and HSB 249 (with the leadership of Senator Robert Hogg and Representative Bobby Kaufmann)  moved into the full Government Oversight Committees in the House and Senate. 

Contact Government Oversight Committee Members in the House and Senate NOW! 
Committee meetings are anticipated for Tuesday May 5th

Call, Email or Write  members of the Government Oversight Committees prior to the next Committee meeting and a sk them to support these bills with amendments that will be made in Committee

Representatives: Refer specifically to HSB 249 
Senators: Refer specifically to SSB 1276 

You can email or call these members by clicking on their name below. The will take you to their personal Iowa Legislature page which gives you  their  phone numbers and email address: 

Senate Government Oversight Members
House  Government  Oversight Members

The bills in the Senate and the House do five things:

  • First, the bill requires 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, it requires 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, it requires 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, it increases the financial responsibility for crude oil pipeline projects from $250,000 total to $500,000 or more per county.
  • Fifthit provides 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.
What should you include in your  communication  with legislators?

We do not provide "canned letters" 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. 
  1. Your personal story and why you opposed to the misuse of eminent domain in general and for this project.
  2. Ask them to support HSB 249  or SSB 1276 and any amendments to these bills. 
  3. Key points you may consider adding. 
  • 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.

  • See points above and comment on why they are important to you.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  SSB 1276 and HSB 249  also include language  that will impact pipelines and the use of eminent domain in the state of Iowa                                                     
To Monitor Activity ONLINE:   Go to the  Legislature Website: www.legisliowa.gov 

Watch live debate, find information about legislators, lobbyists and committee schedules.  

Updated Numbers 
Voluntary Easements:   Less than 15% 
There are 176 voluntary easements registered at county court houses in all 16 counties. The Alliance checks each county court house weekly to monitor these numbers. 
Objections:  1319 formal objections 
  Click to see table   with numbers in each county as of May 1st 
Legislatures 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: 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
 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


Board of Directors
The Presevation of Rural Iowa Alliance
The Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance has a Facebook page!
Like us on Facebook
Check out our page - add your post and photos - look for upcoming events - recommend us to your friends!