Capitol Comments, March 4, 2016

This week went by quickly in the Iowa House, with debate scheduled for every day and no shortage of visitors from our district. On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to speak during debate to share my support of the Veterans Preference bill. This legislation will increase the public availability of veteran status, ensuring that our businesses have the opportunity to hire veterans that are already well equipped with skills and habits of highly successful leaders and team builders.

Later in the week, Senator Schoenjahn and I met with the Student Council from East Buchanan Middle School. Additionally, I had the opportunity to speak with members of the Fayette County Extension Council about the growth and leadership opportunities supported through 4-H, as well as the successes of the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative.

Iowa Leads Nation in Wind Energy

Over 31 percent of Iowa’s energy is generated by wind, the highest percentage in the country. This is the first time wind has supplied more than 30 percent of any states’ electricity.

Nearly $11.8 billion have invested into Iowa wind farms, and the wind industry currently supports 6,000 jobs across the state.  In the coming years, wind is expected to supply 40 percent of Iowa’s energy, which is enough electricity to power 6.3 million homes.

In addition to the jobs and capital investment provided by the wind energy industry, farmers and rural landowners continue to benefit from use of their land for wind turbines. They currently receive $17.1 million annually from payments for use of their land.

Veterans Preference Information

In a continued effort to support Veterans in job placement, the Iowa House passed a bill that would make Veterans preference information more visible to individuals and employers across the state.

Veterans preference provides that Veterans who are citizens of the United States are shown priority in job selection.  This bill would ensure that preference information is posted on the websites of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Administrative Services, the Office of the Attorney General, and Workforce Development.

It is my honor and a humbling experience to be the State Representative. I appreciate the messages and correspondence I receive from people in the district.  You can contact me anytime at, follow me on Facebook or twitter @brucebearinger, or call at 515-281-3221.

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