Hi Daily Iowegian!
Senate Republicans are working with Gov. Branstad to try to find a solution to the sudden increase in propane prices. Propane prices more than tripled this month, skyrocketing from $1.30 per gallon to more than $4.30 over a 10-day span. The soaring propane prices have many concerned as this issue impacts our entire state.
The spike in propane prices throughout the Midwest is being attributed to several factors, including the extended cold weather, delivery issues and ag producers requiring more propane for drying corn this fall than in previous years. A good supply of propane exists, but not in the Midwest. The governor sent a letter to urge the U.S. Department of Transportation on Monday asking to expand the exemption to hours of service regulations to help ease the movement of propane to Iowa, which could help reduce cost and any other regulatory barriers in shipping.
The U.S. Department of Transportation granted the emergency declaration Wednesday through Feb. 11. Exempting the hours of service regulations in Iowa and other Midwestern states will enable the trucking industry to speed up delivery service of propane and home heating fuels, which will help reduce propane prices to a more reasonable level.
Iowa veterans received a unanimous 46-vote salute Monday with the passage of Senate File 303. Standing with Iowa veterans, my colleagues and I voted to eliminate the state income tax on military pensions. Passing this bill moves our state in the right direction when it comes to competing with neighboring states that have a similar exemption already in place. This legislation will play a key role in recruiting new veterans to Iowa, which will help expand Iowa’s skilled workforce and enhance economic development opportunities across the state.
The legislation impacts veterans receiving a pension for their service in the armed forces, military reserve and National Guard. The bill would begin for the tax year starting on Jan. 1, 2014, once it is passed in the Iowa House and receives Gov. Terry Branstad’s signature. When the bill becomes law the entire state would benefit from the state income tax exemption on military pensions.