116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Higher than projected gambling revenue will make it possible for the Legislature to bump up the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund, or RIIF, by $87 million in the coming year.
The House Transportation, Infrastructure and Capital Appropriations subcommittee on Monday voted 7-2 to send a $289,687,568 proposed RIIF budget to the full committee. It likely will be considered Tuesday.
Some of the additional funding proposed in fiscal 2023 is due to concerns that Iowa gambling revenue may dip or nose dive as Nebraska casinos come online, said Rep. Jacob Bossman, R-Sioux City. Some projects are being accelerated, and others are being paid for sooner than previously scheduled.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has received studies projecting Iowa gaming revenue could fall somewhere between $183 million and $256 million a year. One study said Council Bluffs casinos indicated that as much as 80 percent their revenue is from Nebraska residents.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announced Monday that the annual National Change of Address process to update and maintain Iowa’s voter registration records is underway.
Notices have been sent to 123,634 registered Iowa voters who have filed a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service. It’s part of the annual National Change of Address process to update and maintain Iowa’s voter registration record.
Pate encourages voters who receive the notices to indicate if the new address is incorrect and quickly return the card to the county auditor’s office.
The mailing is being conducted to ensure full compliance with the National Voter Registration Act, which requires periodic contact with voters to ensure the most accurate information is on file.
Data indicates 59,718 registered voters moved within their county during the past year and 63,916 moved outside their county, but still within Iowa.
For additional information, contact your county auditor’s office.
PARK REMAINS CLOSED: Red Haw State Park remains closed to visitors because of damage from a March 5 tornado. The campground, which is the most heavily damaged area of the park, is anticipated to be closed until Labor Day.
Cleanup continues, with progress dependent on the weather. Visitors will not be allowed into the park for safety reasons and are asked to stay away at this time.
Volunteer days to help with cleanup will be announced at a later date once major hazards are removed and the ground has dried out.
For future updates, visit the DNR’s Alerts and Closure page.
WILDLIFE SURVEY: The Department of Natural Resources is conducting its annual nighttime spring spotlight surveys across the state, collecting information on Iowa’s deer and furbearer populations.
Conducted from mid-March to mid-April in each county, the survey begins an hour after sunset, preferably on nights with low wind, good visibility and high humidity. The routes cover different habitats from river bottoms, to farm fields, prairies, woodlots, pastures and timber stands.
The 50-mile routes — two per county — are driven below 20 mph with staff shining spotlights out of both sides of the vehicle, recording the number of deer and furbearers seen along with the habitat type, at different points along the way. Staff are careful to avoid shining homes and livestock while on the survey and contact the county sheriff ahead of time in case they receive any calls.
“This survey produces really valuable information on our deer and furbearer populations, both locally and at the state level, allowing us to see population trends over time,” said Jace Elliott, DNR deer research specialist.
The survey began in the late 1970s as a way to collect information on the raccoon population, but was expanded to include deer and other furbearers.
The survey report will be posted later this summer at https://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/Population-Harvest-Trends.
Gazette Des Moines Bureau