Iowa House Rural Caucus 2015
From the Newton Daily News State Representative Dan Kelley of Newton will serve on the House Rural Caucus for the 2015 legislative session.
“A vibrant ag economy is critical to a strong economy and creating jobs in communities across Iowa. Adding value to the crops for farmers through industries like renewable energy will give our local economy a boost and protect our natural resources,” Kelley said. (Continue....)
Iowa’s kids and economic future were shortchanged this week
From the Newton Daily News, January 30, 2015:
UPDATE, February. 10: Please sign this petition: "Provide adequate funding for Iowa's public schools"
The first bill up for debate this year provided local schools inadequate support. Throughout the week, I was visited at the Capitol by Jasper County’s school superintendents, school board members, teachers, parents, administrators, and, most importantly, students. Their voices all echoed the same sentiment, “Shortchanging our children will shortchange Iowa’s future.” They spoke loudly and clearly, the governor’s inadequate proposal would have adverse effects on Jasper County’s students. It would lead to higher class sizes, an increase in property taxes, and fewer opportunities for Iowa students.
I listened and introduced a common-sense plan to consider inflationary increases in day-to-day expenses of education. Everyone knows you can’t purchase a gallon of milk with the same dollar you used to purchase it with last year, so why would our governor and house majority legislators expect schools to meet their rising fuel, utility, textbook, computer and other costs with non-inflationary adjusted budgets? It makes no sense.
Unfortunately, despite the strong opposition, the house majority party approved the governor’s proposal of 1.25 percent “allowable growth,” and sent it across the rotunda to the Senate. It’s clear the majority party either wasn’t listening to the Iowans who came to the State Capitol to give testimony, or, worse yet, simply ignored them. Either way, Iowa’s kids and our future were shortchanged.Hopefully, my colleagues in the Senate will support 6 percent allowable growth, as I proposed, and finally put kids first.
I want to make certain everyone understands the school budgeting process. The allowable growth formula sets the amount of state and property tax dollars that fund school districts. The Legislature is required by law to set the rate 30 days after the Governor releases his budget proposal. This gives schools about 18 months advance notice concerning what state funds they will receive. Then local school boards are able to set their budgets. At least, that’s the way it would work if more of my colleagues valued kids over political games.
WORK TOGETHER TO BUILD A STRONG MIDDLE CLASS
From the Newton Daily News (Des Moines, Iowa) – The 2015 Iowa Legislature opened today and State Representative Dan Kelley of Newton was officially sworn in to office to the Iowa House of Representatives.
“The people of Jasper County gave me a tremendous honor by re-electing me as their State Representative in November. Today, I took the Oath of Office for the third time, and I am eager to listen, work hard, and serve our communities and Iowa during the new legislative session, both in Des Moines and at home,” said Kelley.
Some of the priorities outlined by Kelley this year include: expanding job training opportunities; raising the minimum wage; expanding early childhood education; improving access to broadband; and encouraging more production and use of renewable energy.
“We can begin the new year and new session with the principle we know well: that our challenges have solutions when people work together and trust each other. If we do that, then the challenges really do become opportunities for our citizens,” added Kelley.
The 2015 Legislature runs 110 days and is scheduled to adjourn on May 1st.
“The people of Jasper County are strong, optimistic, and ready for the future. These are the values that make us who we are. I am grateful to the citizens for giving me the chance to serve in the Iowa House of Representatives, and I am ready to get back to the Capitol on behalf of Jasper County and Iowa,” said Kelley.
“I encourage anyone with questions or suggestions to contact me at the Statehouse. While I will be attending a host of public events at home on weekends, I can be reached anytime by email at Dan.Kelley@legis.iowa.gov or by phone at 641-521-9260,” concluded Kelley.
Photos: Representative Dan Kelley was sworn into office during the first day of the 86th General Assembly of the Iowa House of Representatives on Monday, January 12, 2015. He was joined by his family in the House Chambers.
Kelley promotes Newton Renewable Energy jobs in DC
From in the Newton Daily News. State Representative Dan Kelley, of Newton, spent time promoting the Renewable Fuels Standard and the Wind Production Tax Credits to the White House and the United States Congress last week. He was also in attendance at a national conference dedicated to exploring policy solutions to climate change and clean energy solutions in Chicago.
Kelley along with fellow legislators from around the country spoke to a number of officials at the White House including Dan Utech, Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. Kelley also thanked Congressman Dave Loebsack for his support of the continuation of the Renewable Fuels Standard, and encouraged the rest of Iowa’s congressional delegation to support it as well. Continue reading....
Taking the lead on hydropower
In the state that ranks third nationwide in terms of installed wind-energy capacity – about 27 percent of Iowa’s power comes from wind – state Rep. Dan Kelley believes that hydropower ultimately could produce as much power as Iowa’s wind turbines.
“The state of Iowa has become a national leader in wind energy, and that shows we have the wherewithal and the interest to pursue renewables to a great extent,” Kelley said. “There’s no reason we can’t do the same with hydropower. That’s why I’m trying to take the lead in these efforts.”
Photo: The Red Rock Dam near Pella, Iowa will soon be home to the state’s second-largest hydro plant. (Carl Wycoff via Creative Commons)
State Rep. Dan Kelley, D-Newton, appointed as the Ranking Member on the House Administration and Regulation Budget Subcommittee for the 2015 Legislative Session
“I look forward to continuing my leadership role on the Administration and Regulation Budget Subcommittee and working across the aisle to come up with solutions to keep the state budget balanced while providing important services for everyday Iowans,” Kelley said. “I will continue to work with constituents and colleagues to promote local jobs, strengthen our schools, protect seniors, and provide a healthy environment to future generations. Jasper County’s economic recovery belongs to all of us. If you have questions, concerns, or ideas to help build a quality future for Jasper County and Iowa, call me at home, 641-521-9260.”
Another Victory for Newton: REG Newton Unveils $13.2 million Upgrade
Congressman Dave Loebsack along with Deputy Secretary of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Michael Naig joined community and business leaders to mark the occasion with a ribbon cutting and presentation.
“Enhancing REG Newton’s distillation and processing capabilities strengthens our lower-cost, multi-feedstock biomass-based diesel business and provides customers with more fuel options both in the Midwest and nationwide,” said Daniel J. Oh, REG President and CEO. “This plant was already a high performing facility that deserved additional investment and I am confident the return on investment will be rapid.” Read more.
Photo: Newton Mayor Michael Hansen, Congressman Dave Loebsack and Rep. Dan Kelley along with business and company leaders attended the ribbon cutting for the REG Newton 30 million gallon nameplate biorefinery upgrade. (Jamee A. Pierson/Daily News)
A New Green Gateway to Jobs, Family Fun, and a Benefit to Jasper County
A 500-acre outdoor recreational park is in the works near Colfax. I'm going to serve as an Ex-Officio member of the board currently putting plans together. If done right, this could provide an economic boost to Colfax and the rest of Jasper County.
Campgrounds could benefit the Iowa Speedway and vice-versa. Year-round outdoor recreational opportunities will bring tourism dollars and enhance Jasper County as a great place for families. The land has been used as a gravel-quarry and has been mined to its fullest extent. This is a way to bring used-up industrial land back to its natural state.
I'm committed to making this project work as an economic boost, enhancement of our environment and provide opportunities for families. Read more.
$380M hydroelectric project planned for Lake Red Rock
Newton Daily News. A $380 million effort to retrofit the Lake Red Rock Dam to produce hydroelectric energy for up to 61 communities across four states will get underway Wednesday with a groundbreaking.
The project is overseen by Sioux Falls, S.D. based company Missouri River Energy Services (MRES), which is projecting the plant will product 36.4 megawatts of power. It claims the dam is capable of powering 18,000 homes during peak water levels.
The project, expected to be completed in 2018, will be the second largest hydroelectric facility in Iowa.
Iowa Rep. Dan Kelley, D-Newton, is a known proponent of alternative energies and expressed strong support for House File 630 during the 2013 legislative session, which allows this project to receive the same sales tax credits as wind powered projects.
Kelley...is hoping the success of this project could spur development of another large hydroelectric project on the Mississippi River near Iowa’s eastern border. He said studies have shown that there are several suitable sites present in the area. Read the entire article in the Newton Daily News.
Iowans advised to seek legal advice before signing contracts for pipeline
Jasper County residents are encouraged to seek legal assistance or contact the Iowa Attorney General’s Office prior to entering into any type of legal agreement with an out of state company for a proposed pipeline that may go through Jasper County.
“It is important for farmers and landowners not rush into any agreements with the pipeline developers,” Rep. Dan Kelley said. “I encourage those who are approached to seek legal advice or contact the Iowa Attorney General’s Office prior to entering into any type of agreement with an out of state company for a proposed pipeline that may go through Jasper County.”
Energy Transfer Partners L.P., a Texas based company wants to build a pipeline connecting its gulf coast oil terminal to oil fields in North Dakota. The proposed Bakken Pipeline would go through 17 Iowa counties, including Jasper County.
“In addition to studying this proposal, I am focused on helping expand permanent renewable energy jobs in Jasper County,” Kelley said. “We’ve taken advantage of the opportunities offered by wind and biodiesel. The current expansion at REG Newton biodiesel plant is evidence our efforts are working.”
The Iowa Attorney General can be reached at (515) 281-5164 or at www.state.ia.us/government/ag.
MY COMMITMENT TO YOU
I'm Dan Kelley, a long-time resident of Jasper County. I serve in the Iowa House representing the 29th District. I am commited to being your voice in the Statehouse!
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I WILL BE A VOICE FOR YOU IN DES MOINES
As your State Representative, I will focus on serving the needs of our communities, not the special interests. I will put your needs before those of party leaders. In Des Moines, I will fight to:
*Bring good-paying jobs to our communities,
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