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Gov. Branstad signs Senate File 2344 into law PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:07

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today signed the following legislation into law: 

Senate File 2344 an Act relating to renewable fuels, by providing for bio-butanol and bio-butanol blended gasoline, modifying the rate of the E-15 plus gasoline promotion tax credit and extending provisions for a biodiesel production refund, and including effective date and retroactive applicability provisions.

 

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Braley Continues Years-Long Pursuit to Measure ‘True Cost of War’ PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 15:15

Congressman’s amendment aiming to measure the long-term costs of Iraq and Afghanistan Wars heads toward House vote

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today continued his years-long fight to require the government to examine the full long-term costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by introducing his True Cost of War amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act currently being debated on the House floor.

“It’s embarrassing that over a decade after these wars began, we still don’t have a true accounting of the long-term costs because both the Bush and Obama administrations would rather avoid the numbers than see the price we’ve really paid,” Braley said. “The decision to go to war is the most important one the government makes, and if you’re going to make it responsibly you need to know the basic facts and you need to understand the costs involved.”

The True Cost of War amendment would require the President, in consultation with the Secretaries of Defense, State and Veterans Affairs to report on the long-term costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in human and financial terms.

The report would cover the current and previous costs to date of the wars in terms of number of troops deployed, casualty statistics, pending veterans claims, and the costs associated with caring for wounded veterans.

The report also asks for estimates of future costs based on scenarios of continued troop deployments, estimated number of troops needed, estimates of future casualties, and healthcare cost projections.

Since 2001, Congress has appropriated an estimated $1.5 trillion dollars for the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, much of it in supplemental spending bills. During those conflicts, more than 6,600 servicemembers have been killed in the line of duty, and more than 50,000 have been wounded, many with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, severe burns and amputated limbs—injuries that can often require a lifetime of medical and psychological care. This means the true cost of the wars is much higher than the $1.5 trillion Congress has directly appropriated.

Braley first introduced the True Cost of War Act in 2008 and has worked in subsequent sessions of Congress to pass the bill into law. In 2013 the legislation was passed by the US House in a bipartisan vote.  However, the True Cost of War Act has never advanced to the President’s desk for his signature into law.

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Gov. Branstad to sign Home Base Iowa Act on Memorial Day at Camp Dodge PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 09:10

Centerpiece of Branstad’s 2014 legislative plan to be signed; Home Base Iowa Act will work to match veterans with quality, high-paying careers in Iowa

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced the centerpiece of their 2014 legislative plan, the Home Base Iowa Act, will be signed into law on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, 2014, at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum, Camp Dodge,  Johnston, Iowa.

In his 2014 Condition of the State address, Branstad said, “This session, the centerpiece of my agenda is Home Base Iowa. It is a bipartisan jobs plan focusing on recruiting service members to Iowa and matching them with good, high paying careers. […] Our veterans have risked their lives defending our freedom.  To show our gratitude, let’s make Iowa the leader in respect, support and opportunity for veterans.”

Branstad and Reynolds launched the Home Base Iowa initiative in November of 2013 at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum at Camp Dodge. He named Congressman Leonard Boswell and Casey’s CEO Bob Myers the co-chairs on the initiative.

In January, the Iowa Business Council announced a goal of hiring 2,500 veterans.  In March, Greene County became the first “Home Base Iowa Community.”

The Home Base Iowa Act does the following: 

  • Fully exempts military pensions from state income tax, putting Iowa on more equal footing with states such as Florida and Texas, and our Midwestern neighbors such as Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. In addition, the bill fully exempts military survivor benefits from state income tax.
  • Iowa’s licensing boards will adopt rules allowing credit for military training and experience in the licensing process.
  • Allows private-sector companies to follow the public sector’s lead by allowing a preference in hiring and promoting veterans.
  • Eliminates the special plate issuance fees charged for plates associated with military service.

In addition, Branstad will sign Senate File 2352, an Act relating to the additional homestead credit for certain disabled veterans and including effective date and applicability provisions.

The bill signings will occur in conjunction with annual Memorial Day observance and breakfast at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum on Camp Dodge.                        

The following events are open to credentialed members of the media:

Monday, May 26, 2014

8:10 a.m. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds attend the singing of the National Anthem

Iowa Gold Star Military Museum

Camp Dodge

Johnston, IA

 

8:20 a.m. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds attend gun salute

Iowa Gold Star Military Museum

Camp Dodge

Johnston, IA

 

8:35 a.m. Gov. Branstad signs the Home Base Iowa Act into law

Iowa Gold Star Military Museum

Camp Dodge

Johnston, IA

Note: A mult-box will be available for the media. 

 

Senate File 303 an Act relating to veterans, military service members, and certain survivor beneficiaries and including effective date and retroactive applicability provisions.

Senate File 2352 an Act relating to the additional homestead credit for certain disabled veterans and including effective date and applicability provisions.

For more information on Home Base Iowa, please visit www.HomeBaseIowa.org.

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Gov. Branstad appoints directors of DAS, IDPH PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Monday, 19 May 2014 16:14

Branstad appoints Janet Phipps Burkhead Director of Department of Administrative Services, Gerd Clabaugh Director of Iowa Department of Public Health 

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today appointed Janet Phipps Burkhead as the Director of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services (DAS) and Gerd Clabaugh the Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). Phipps had been serving as interim director of DAS since April 8, 2014. Clabaugh had been serving as interim director of IDPH since January 9, 2014.

“I am pleased today to name two individuals with high integrity, invaluable experience and a passion for service as directors of two important departments,” said Branstad. “I’m confident that Janet and Gerd will continue their work to ensure the departments they lead operate in an efficient and effective manner to provide exceptional service for the Iowa taxpayers.”

The DAS mission is to provide high-quality, affordable infrastructure products and services to Iowa state government customers in a manner that empowers them to provide better service to the citizens of Iowa and support the State of Iowa in achieving economic growth. The formation of DAS is the first and largest endeavor of this kind in the country. DAS has established an alternative to privatization that provides an incentive to employees to drive down the cost of service delivery.

Phipps Burkhead, a resident of Adel, Iowa, is a retired Brigadier General in the Iowa Army National Guard. She earned her undergraduate and Masters of Public Administration from Iowa State University, and her law degree from Drake University. She served as the Director of the Iowa Department of General Services from 1994-1998 and the Michigan Department of Management and Budget from 1998-2001. From 2001-2005, Phipps Burkhead was on active duty with the U.S. Army and attended law school, and from 2005-2014 she worked in the private sector. She began working as DAS General Counsel in February 2014.

IDPH partners with local public health, policymakers, health care providers, business and many others to fulfill its mission of promoting and protecting the health of Iowans.

Clabaugh, a resident of Johnston, Iowa, served as Deputy Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health from August 2011 to January 2014. From 1989-1997, he served as the Director of the Center for Health Policy within the Iowa Department of Public Health.  He held positions in the Iowa Department of Personnel and Iowa Department of Administrative Services between the years of 1997-2003. Clabaugh worked in the private sector from 2007-2011, which included serving as the Director of Operations for the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative.

Director Phipps Burkhead’s and Director Clabaugh’s appointments are subject to Senate confirmation. A photo of Phipps can be found here. A photo of Clabaugh can be found here.

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Braley Urges Vice President Biden to Meet with Iowans on RFS PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Monday, 19 May 2014 16:10

Congressman: Vice President should hear from Iowans and reconsider EPA’s misguided proposal

 

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today requested that Vice President Joe Biden meet with members of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association to hear firsthand about the positive impact the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is having on Iowa.

“It’s my goal to get every top administration official, including Vice President Biden, to sit down with Iowans so that they can hear firsthand how biofuels are growing Iowa’s economy, contributing to America’s energy independence, and combating climate disruption,” Braley said. “The EPA’s misguided proposal will have a negative impact not only on Iowa but on our nation.”

 

A recent report by Reuters explained how the vice president played an influential role on the RFS. Members of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association have requested a meeting with the Vice President in order to weigh in on the EPA’s proposed change to the RFS.  

“I ask that you meet with these Iowans to hear about their experiences and the impact the RFS is having on the innovation and job creation taking place in Iowa and across the U.S., and that you work with us to revise the misguided policy currently proposed by the EPA,” Braley wrote.

Braley has consistently fought the proposed EPA changes since they were first reported on in October. Late last year he joined VoteVets.org to deliver over 110,000 signatures to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protesting proposed changes. In November, Braley wrote a letter to President Obama expressing his anger and frustration with the proposed EPA changes. In December, he joined Governor Branstad to testify at an EPA hearing stressing the benefits of the current levels and the positive impact the RFS has on Iowa.

The letter to Vice President Biden is available below:

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May 19, 2014

Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

Vice President

United States of America

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear Mr. Vice President:

I am writing to follow up on a letter sent to you by Iowans who, like me, are gravely concerned with the Administration’s position on biofuel policy.  As written, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) provides an unfair advantage to big oil and threatens the future of America’s growing biofuel industry.

Given the White House’s history of support for the RFS, energy independence, and combating climate change, I urge you to accept a meeting with members of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. The EPA’s current RFS proposal is a misguided step that would ignore the intent of the Energy Independence and Security Act and the domestic jobs and innovation resulting from renewable fuel investments. These Iowans have serious concerns with the current proposal and can provide important data and convey personal experiences reiterating the impact of the RFS on local jobs and the future of renewable energy production.

I have appreciated your support for renewable fuels in the past and am hopeful that the White House will review this policy and work with the EPA to fix the current proposal for renewable fuel blending.  Investing in renewable fuels has created 63,000 jobs in Iowa – but that is just a sliver of the 400,000 jobs across America that biofuels support.

To fully invest in our clean energy future we must commit to the goals set forth in this policy and ensure that big oil companies work with us to move toward cleaner and more affordable fuel. The RFS has helped lower the cost of gas by one dollar per gallon, has saved the U.S. $50 billion in imported fuel costs, and holds the promise of replacing one-third of our gasoline by 2050.

Oil companies have worked hard to confuse the public about what is truly happening with the RFS and its impact on everything from engines to food prices. However, we have seen the Department of Energy confirm that homegrown, high-octane fuels are better for both engines and air quality.

I ask that you meet with these Iowans to hear about their experiences and the impact the RFS is having on the innovation and job creation taking place in Iowa and across the U.S., and that you work with us to revise the misguided policy currently proposed by the EPA.

Please feel free to reach out to me and my staff to help facilitate this meeting.  We can be reached at 202-225-2911.

Sincerely,

Bruce Braley

U.S. House of Representatives

 
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