After years of hard work and bipartisan negotiations, the Iowa House passed a bill this week to make improvements to Iowa’s bottle return law. A few weeks ago, the Senate passed their language on the bottle bill. This bill had done a good job of getting the various industry groups on board with the proposal. However, the House felt additional protections for consumers were necessary. So, we added an amendment to ensure this is a program that will work for consumers.
Senate File 2378 takes many positive steps towards improving the current system. It increases the handling fee for redemption centers and retailers who accept bottle returns to 3 cents per container, up from just 1 cent. It also gives retailers the ability to opt out of taking empty containers back if they meet one of the following criteria:
- retailer has a food establishment license and has a certified food protection manager on site,
- retailer has an agreement with a mobile redemption system, or
- the retailer is within the radius of a redemption center based on the convenience standard for their county.
This bill enhances enforcement by strengthening fines and enabling the DNR and attorney general to work together to ensure all stakeholders – retailers, distributors, redemption centers, and recyclers are following the law. It also establishes a legislative review committee that will meet ahead of the 2026 legislative session to review how the law is working and report back to the legislature its findings and recommendations. The current bottle deposit law has not been updated in over 40 years. These changes aim to give consumers more convenient locations to return their bottles and help the system run more smoothly.
Tuesday, April 19, is the 100th day of Session, which marks the final scheduled day for the 2022 Legislative session. The House has worked hard to be done on time. We’ve passed every budget, aside of the Standings budget which is usually the last piece of legislation to move. We have also worked hard to pass numerous policy proposals we hoped to deliver for our constituents this session. Now, we must wait on the Senate to pass their budget proposals so we can iron out any differences there may be between our numbers.We will continue to work tirelessly to finish up the job you sent us here to do in a timely fashion, and I will continue to listen to you on all remaining policy pieces left this session.
We are excited to announce the Inaugural Legislative Slow-Pitch Softball Game for Charity that will take place on May 1st at Principal Park! This bi-partisan softball game will consist of two teams, House and Senate Republicans vs. House and Senate Democrats. The money raised from sponsors and ticket sales will go to benefit two charities chosen by the respective teams. Republicans have chosen the Puppy Jake Foundation and the Democrats will play to benefit the Iowa Food Bank Association. You can purchase tickets for this event at the two links at the end of the newsletter. The tickets will grant you access to the ICubs game that will begin at 1:00pm and the Legislative game that will immediately follow.
We are looking forward to a fun, bi-partisan event that will raise money for two great organizations. We hope you will join us on May 1st at Principal Park!
Republican Tickets: https://fevo.me/iowarepublicans
Democrat Tickets: https://fevo.me/iowademocrats
As always if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.