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Taxes, hunting, bottle bill emerge as topics in legislative forum

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legislative forum 20-02-22

State Sen. Mark Segebart, R-Vail, makes a point during a legislative forum at Swan Lake Saturday morning. Segebart (right) and State Rep. Brian Best, R-Glidden, touched on a number of issues.

Carroll’s two Statehouse lawmakers said the crowd of more than 60 people at the Swan Lake Conservation Education Center Saturday was one of the larger ones they’ve seen in years in the regular Carroll Chamber of Commerce legislative forums.

The turnout comes just as lawmakers passed a key phase in their annual work, the so-called “funnel” week, when bills live on for the remaining weeks of session or stall.

State Sen. Mark Segebart, R-Vail, said he hopes legislation clears that he’s advocated for throughout much of his eight years in office, a hike in the payment of 1 cent to 2 cents on recycled cans and bottles to redemption centers Segebart sees as in jeopardy of closing.

“If we don’t do something this year, we probably won’t have any redemption centers left,” he said.

The deposit on the cans and bottles would remain at 5 cents, with more of the money going to boost the redemption centers under Segebart’s plan.

State Rep. Brian Best, R-Glidden, said he would support an increase of 1 percent to the state sales tax. Three-eighths of the money raised through the hike would go to the Iowa Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. Gov. Kim Reynolds has tied income-tax reductions to the plan as well.

Best said he supports the measure and sees spending on recreation in the state, which would be increased under it, as vital to attracting and retaining young people.

“Culturally, I think we need as much as we can to help that,” Best said.

Segebart said he is pleased with developing legislation that would require the tagging of deer stands on public land. Right now, anyone can use a deer stand and hunting blind, a process that would continue. The bill, Senate File 2003, requires hunters to place a metal tag with their name and address on blinds and stands.

In action on a long-running and defining issue in the nation, Segebart voted for a constitutional amendment, which passed the Iowa Senate, that would state in the Iowa Constitution that there is no right to an abortion.

“I voted for it,” he said. “I think it’s a great thing.”

Best also opposes abortion in Iowa and supports the constitutional amendment, which would have to clear two sessions of the Legislature and pass a statewide referendum.

Segebart and Best both support a measure that would block businesses from being able to require the micro-chipping of employees to track their locations and other actions.

“I would be for not forcing you,” Segebart said.

Best said he has spoken with the recently appointed Department of Transportation director Scott Marler about proposed full four-laning of U.S. 30 across its 331 miles in Iowa.

Best and Segebart see advocating for Highway 30 as part of a decades-long effort from Iowans along its corridor.

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