Podcast: Iowa Legislative Session Adds Flood Relief To Budget Deliberations

Print More

Lyle Muller/IowaWatch

Gov Kim Reynolds, in her Statehouse office on Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019, during an IowaWatch interview.


Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in the latest IowaWatch Connection radio report and podcast that Iowa needs to streamline the process for getting flood relief to portions of the state pounded with spring flooding.

The process will include coming up with funds in Iowa to provide flood relief, matching at some level federal aid that eventually comes into the state, Reynolds said in the weekend radio report.

On Monday, Reynolds announced a $15 million legislative funding package the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, and her request that the Iowa Legislature approve about $10 million for fiscal 2020. The money next fiscal year would fund housing tax credits for flood-stricken areas of the state. Reynolds also signed an executive order that creates a flood advisory board to coordinate the state’s flood recovery and rebuilding effort. (Editor’s Note: This information was added to this post at 12:58 p.m. Monday, April 15.)

“In any of the funding that we get from the federal level, there’s a cost share,” Reynolds said in the program. “We want to make sure that we can start the progress, start the recovery, and then wait for the federal dollars to come in.”

The need to fund flood relief in Iowa, notably along the Missouri River valley in west-southwest Iowa, will add a wrinkle to the state legislative session that entered its fourth month in April and still must wrap up how much in total state funding it will appropriate.

Reynolds, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts have met with  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers representatives. “Our message was to make sure that we do this from a regional perspective, that we really streamline the process, that we look at ways we can do things differently. We can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results,” Reynolds said.

Moreover, she said, noting levees along the river region that are in disrepair: “Anything that we do has to be made permanent.”

RELATED: Inspections Reveal Problems with Iowa’s Flood-Control Levees But Maintenance Lags

IowaWatch’s Lyle Muller contributed to writing this post.