Iowa Legislative Update: Funnel Deadline Next Week PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Peggy Huppert   
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 09:48
A comprehensive radon bill – SSB 3169 – was introduced yesterday in the Iowa Senate and assigned to the State Government Committee with a subcommittee of Jeff Danielson (chair), D-Cedar Falls, Bill Dix, R-Shell Rock, and Jack Kibbie, D-Emmetsburg.

We need you to contact members of the State Government Committee today and ask them to support this bill. If you know one of the members of the subcommittee it is particularly important that they hear from you.

Time is of the essence because the first “funnel” deadline is rapidly approaching. All bills except ones dealing with taxing and spending must pass out of committee by next Friday, Feb. 24th. For this bill to remain alive it must pass out of committee next week.

Here are some points to make with your senator:

  • Iowa has the highest incidence of radon in homes in the nation.
  • Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking.  It kills about 400 Iowans a year – more than are killed in traffic accidents.
  • We know how to detect radon and how to get rid of it. All we need is the will to make it happen.

SSB 3169 includes important strategies for protecting Iowans from radon, requiring:

  • Radon testing and disclosure for all real estate transactions
  • Radon Resistant New Construction (RRNC) in all new residential construction
  • A state income tax credit of up to $500 for home radon mitigation
  • Testing and disclosure for all rental housing and K-12 school buildings

Tobacco control advocates were proud of testimony given to the Health & Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee this week by Cathy Callaway of Des Moines and Christopher Squier of Iowa City, members of the Iowa Tobacco Commission.

The subcommittee requested information about how the substantial cuts to tobacco control funding last year have affected critical state programs. Cathy told subcommittee members that although the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that Iowa spend $36.7 million, we are currently spending only 9 percent of that amount ($2.8 million). Both Cathy and Chris spoke about the aggressive marketing being done by tobacco companies in Iowa, spending more than $100 million per year. They predicted that if Iowa does not increase its investment soon, smoking and smokeless tobacco usage will start to increase.

Sen. Jack Hatch, D-Des Moines, co-chair of the subcommittee, announced at the conclusion of the meeting that he intends to recommend increasing funding for tobacco control by $2.5 million for the next fiscal year for a total of $5.3 million.

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