A roundup of legislative and Capitol news items of interest for Thursday, May 3, 2018:
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER: The 2018 National Day of Prayer was celebrated at the Iowa Capitol on Thursday, May 3, 2018, with prayer and patriotic and religious music.
URBAN WATER CONSERVATION: Ten urban conservation water quality demonstration projects have been selected to receive $789,100 in funding, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced.
In addition to the state funds, the 10 projects will provide over $3.2 million in matching funds and additional in-kind contributions to support water quality improvement efforts.
The participating communities are Algona, Ames, Atlantic, Cherokee, Clive, Coralville, Garnavillo, Grimes, Muscatine, North Liberty and Sioux City.
Projects will focus on conservation measures that capture and allow stormwater to be absorbed into the ground and reduce the impact on water quality, stream flows and flooding.
The projects also include partnerships and education components to promote increased awareness and adoption of practices and tools to reduce nutrient loads delivered to surface waters.
Practices to be installed as part of these projects include bioretention cells, bioswales, native plantings, permeable pavement, rain gardens, soil quality restoration, wetlands and others.
More information about these and other urban water quality practices can be found at cleanwateriowa.org/urban/.
HISTORY WINNERS: Seventy students from across the state took top honors at the National History Day in Iowa contest.
National History Day is a yearlong academic enrichment program that challenges students to research, develop and present papers, exhibits, documentaries, websites and performances about historical issues, ideas, people and events related to an annual theme. This year’s theme is “Conflict and Compromise in History.”
This year’s 70 national qualifiers include students from 18 schools plus two home schools in Le Mars and Spencer. The winners are listed at iowaculture.gov.
Iowa’s state winners now move on to the 2018 National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland, where they will compete against nearly 3,000 students. In Iowa, nearly 8,000 students participated.
TAKE BACK RECORD: Iowans safely disposed of 12,333 pounds of leftover medications during last Saturday’s 15th biannual National Prescription Drug Take Back event, the most ever collected during a one-day event in Iowa, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which sponsors the national effort.
The six tons of unused medicine were dropped off by Iowans at 115 community drop-off locations over a four-hour period last Saturday.
That surpasses the old mark of 11,710 pounds previously set during the 2017 spring event.
In total, for all 15 of the one-day Prescription Drug Take Back events, Iowans have now properly disposed of more than 56 tons of unneeded medicine — a collection rate of over 30 pounds per minute — to help prevent prescription drug abuse and environmental contamination.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I think it’s ironic that two Dutchmen are doing the tax cut bill. We tend to be pretty frugal as a race, I guess.” — Rep. Guy Vander Linden, R-Oskaloosa, on working with Sen. Randy Feenstra, on the GOP’s tax cut legislation.