Government

Capitol Chorus performs at morning invocation in the House, saying goodbye to retiring members, Iowa Department of Natural Resources offers pocket-size water trail brochures: Iowa Capitol Digest, April 17

The Capitol Chorus — made up of lawmakers, lobbyists, pages and doorkeepers — offered the morning invocation in the Iowa House on Tuesday, the 100th day of the legislative session. Among the selections was “Come, Come Ye Saints,” which was written in southern Iowa as encouragement to Mormon settlers moving westward. (James Q. Lynch/Gazette Des Moines Bureau)
The Capitol Chorus — made up of lawmakers, lobbyists, pages and doorkeepers — offered the morning invocation in the Iowa House on Tuesday, the 100th day of the legislative session. Among the selections was “Come, Come Ye Saints,” which was written in southern Iowa as encouragement to Mormon settlers moving westward. (James Q. Lynch/Gazette Des Moines Bureau)

CAPITOL CHORUS: The Capitol Chorus made up of lawmakers, lobbyists, pages and doorkeepers, offered the morning invocation in the House Tuesday, April 17, 2018, the 100th day of the legislative session. Among the selections sung was, Come, Come Ye Saints, which was written in southern Iowa as encouragement to Mormon settlers moving westward.

MORE SENATE FAREWELLS: Iowa senators spent nearly three hours Tuesday saying goodbyes to three retiring members — Sens. Bob Dvorsky, D-Coralville, Rick Bertrand, R-Sioux City, and Mark Chelgren, R-Ottumwa.

Dvorsky was honored for his 32 years in the Legislature, particularly for his years as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee when he helped shepherd funds to deal with Iowa’s 2008 flooding disaster and the national recession that hit the state budget hard. He also was credited with assisting STEM education and Iowa’s Housing Trust Fund to take root and adequately financing higher education while freezing tuition for three years.

Bertrand was celebrated as a maverick who championed small business, life issues, liberty and freedom issues during his eight-year stint.

“I said two terms, and two terms it is,” said Bertrand, a term-limit supporter.

HIGH-CALORIE DAY: Lawmakers had plenty of fuel to attack budget and tax issues Tuesday. Reps. Wes Breckenridge, D-Newton, and Chris Hall, D-Sioux City, shared cookies with colleagues to celebrate their birthday.

Rep. Jane Bloomingdale, R-Northwood, brought sausage and jerky from award-winning lockers in her district.

For dessert, Rep. John Forbes, D-Des Moines, shared ice cream with lawmakers and legislative staff.

WATER TRAIL MAPS: The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is offering new pocket-size brochures for a dozen water trails, including the Lower Des Moines, Maquoketa, South Skunk and all of the Raccoon rivers. Easy-to-print 8.5-by-11-inch PDF versions of the maps can be downloaded at iowadnr.gov/Things-to-Do/Canoeing-Kayaking/Water-Trail-Maps-Brochures.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

NO MOWING: Iowa law prohibits mowing roadside ditches each year between March 15 and July 15 to protect ground nesting birds and to prevent nest destruction.

Roadside ditches, while not optimal habitat, can be the only grassy habitat available in certain areas of the state for ground nesting birds.

As spring progresses, ground-nesting birds — like eastern and western meadowlarks, dickcissels, field and song sparrows, quail, gray partridge and pheasants — will use these marginal areas to incubate eggs and rear their young.

The vegetation also is important to pollinators collecting nectar and for milkweed development that is critical for monarch caterpillars.

“It’s not the best habitat, but we need to protect it for the wildlife that does depend on it,” said Todd Bogenschutz, upland wildlife biologist for the Iowa DNR.

There are some exceptions to the law, such as within 200 yards of an inhabited dwelling and for visibility and safety reasons.

Violations on county or secondary roads should be reported to the county engineer or roadside manager in the country where it occurred.

Violations on state highways or interstate highways should be directed to the Iowa Department of Transportation.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “For the cities of this state, this is another ($12 million) cut. Are you not connecting the dots?” — Sen. Tony Bisignano, D-Des Moines, in speaking Tuesday against a Senate amendment to ban traffic enforcement cameras that came before the Iowa Senate.

Gazette Des Moines Bureau

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.