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Legislature moving to back local businesses over big businesses

February 16, 2010
By State Sen. Tom Rielly (D-Oskaloosa)

The Legislature recently took the first step toward approving legislation to protect jobs in small businesses across Iowa and ensure Iowa car buyers have more choices.

After the auto industry bankruptcies and slowdowns, GM and Chrysler began imposing restrictive rules on Iowa dealerships, rules that could force these small businesses to close down.

Iowa auto dealerships are an important part of local communities and local economies. In towns across our state, the local dealership proudly employs and serves generations of residents.

On Feb. 4, the Senate Transportation Committee approved File 2234, which is designed to save Iowa jobs by ensuring that small business owners can make their own decisions about how to run their businesses, instead of having rules dictated to them by Detroit.

The bill also prohibits car manufacturers from shutting down other car lines at local dealerships, which means more choices for Iowa consumers. What’s more, the bill protects consumer privacy by preventing manufacturers from demanding customer lists from local dealers.

This legislative session is all about laying the groundwork for economic recovery. By moving this bill forward, we are sending a signal that in Iowa, small businesses and the jobs they support are a top priority.

The bill will now be considered by the full Senate. You can read the legislation at

Save money, energy with appliance rebate program

A consumer rebate initiative funded by the federal recovery act starts soon and could save you money on new appliances and your energy bills.

Similar to last year’s “cash for clunkers” automotive rebate program, the Energy Efficiency Appliance Rebate program gives consumers money back when they purchase new, energy efficient appliances.

Another benefit is that these new appliances—including furnaces, air conditioners, refrigerators, washers and dryers—cost less to operate.

A total of $2.8 million will be available for Iowa rebates ranging from $100 to $500. Rebates are for appliances purchased after March 1 and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Funds are expected to be exhausted within two weeks, so if you’ve been thinking of getting new appliances for your home, act quickly.

Also keep in mind that the appliances purchased through this program may be eligible for tax credits, as well as additional rebates offered by your utility companies.

Learn more about the appliance rebate program at

This is a legislative update from Senator Tom Rielly, representing Iowa, Poweshiek, and Keokuk counties, and portions of Mahaska and Tama counties. To contact Senator Rielly during the week, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. On weekends he can be reached at home at 641-673-0359. E-mail him at

Article Photos

Sen. Tom Rielly



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