Newscast 03.31.22: Land values steady in Iowa; More than 170,000 Iowans Could Face Utility Shut-Off After Winter Waiver Ends
A Senate committee has approved a bill that would send a million dollars in state funding to a private organization operating a crisis pregnancy center. Senator Mark Costello of Imogene and the other Republicans on the Appropriations Committee voted for the bill. The bill says the goal is to assist pregnant women to choose childbirth rather than abortion.
Democrats on the committee voted against the proposal. Senator Janet Petersen, a Democrat from Des Moines, said the state should spend more money to keep labor and delivery departments in hospitals open rather than fund crisis pregnancy centers.
It looks like Iowa land values are not dropping off at all. A survey released by the Realtors Land Institute shows From September 1st, 2021 to March 1st, 2022 the state average on farmland went up 14.1%. That is all nine regions and taking in your low, medium and high-quality cropland. Their survey is done every six months.
Disconnection notices have started going out to thousands of Iowa residents behind on their bills for electricity and natural gas. Each year, the state's winter moratorium on shutoffs lasts from November 1st to April 1st.Figures from the Iowa Utilities Board show as of February more than 179,000 accounts were past due, up from 165,000 a year ago.
This year the board has seen about a 21 percent increase in families coming to Community Action to apply for assistance.
Christine Taylor, Energy Assistance Program Manager for the Iowa Department of Human Rights, says anyone facing disconnection should contact their utility and community action agency for help as soon as possible.