Variety of Topics at Legislative Meeting in Delaware County

20140207_102953The Delaware County Farm Bureau and Delaware County Economic Development hosted a Legislative Meeting Friday morning in Manchester. Around forty area residents showed up at the Farm Bureau office to get an update from five area legislators, including State Representatives Lee Hein of Monticello and Nancy Dunkel of Dyersville, and State Senators Dan Zumbach of Ryan, Michael Breitbach of Strawberry Point and Bruce Bearinger of Oelwein. The big topic was the potential fuel tax. Representative Hein says it’s something that’s moving in the legislature, but the question is whether both sides will agree on it.

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We’ll hear more from our area legislators on the potential gas tax coming up on Tuesday. Another topic brought up at the legislative meeting was the recent jump in propane prices. Representative Dunkel says prices have come down a little in the last couple weeks, but it’s still too expensive for many households to handle.

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Senator Breitbach says it’s definitely a big issue right now.

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Raising the minimum wage was also a topic… Senator Zumbach says there’s really no legislation moving forward on this right now on the state level.

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Representative Dunkel says even though there’s no bill, it’s still talked about all the time.

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Agri-tourism was also discussed… There was concern that the relationships between farmers and schools or other groups would be affected after an incident in the area a few years ago. The owners of a dairy farm near Oelwein were sued by a woman who was injured when she fell through a hole in a hayloft while chaperoning a field trip. The legislators say a new law passed last year limits property owners’ liabilities. Senator Bearinger says he’s very familiar with the incident that started the discussion.

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E-cigarettes was also brought up… Manchester Fareway’s General Manager Paul Heffernan wanted to know if age restrictions would be implemented for anyone purchasing E-cigarettes, suggesting it should be treated the same as anyone buying tobacco products. Senator Breitbach serves as an advisor on the Tobacco Commission.

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Health Savings Accounts, ATVs on county roads, drones and the changes to the school calendar were also discussed. Representative Hein and the other legislators appreciate everyone’s questions and feedback.

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We’ll let you the exact date of the next legislative meeting when details are released. And stay up to date on all the legislative news each Friday during the noon hour on KMCH.

(Photo taken by KMCH News Director Janelle Tucker)



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