Greetings from under the dome,
Governor Branstad, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Senate Republicans this week commended the United States Department of Labor after learning that the department has begun to reconsider onerous regulations on youth working on farms.
In November of 2011, Branstad and Northey sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis voicing their concern. In the letter, Branstad and Northey asked the department to give Iowa farmers a fair opportunity to comment and called the rule "a prime example of Federal overreach."
Senate Republicans are pleased to learn that Secretary Solis and the Department of Labor are reconsidering their burdensome regulations on Iowa farm families. Agriculture and family farm life is part of the life blood of Iowa and so many of Iowa's kids learn the value of a strong work ethic by working on the family farm. I believe that Iowa farm families are better at ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their children than bureaucrats in Washington.
It is important we continue to provide opportunities for young people to learn about agriculture and gain experience by working on farms in a responsible manner. This announcement by the Department of Labor shows that they are responding to the comments they received and are hearing the concerns of the farming community.
We will continue to monitor this situation because of the immense importance this has to the fabric of Iowa living.
An issue that continues to surface on a yearly basis is motor boat restrictions on Lake MacBride. Every other state owned body of water of similar size has a no wake rule. Lake MacBride has a no wake rule as well, however, between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day they also limit motor size of the boat to 10hp. If you own a boat with a 15hp motor you now must also buy one of 10hp or less to legally boat on MacBride.
My question is, who cares about motor size if you have to operate at no wake speeds? The answer is, certain residents surrounding Lake MacBride have enough political influence to limit public access to a public lake. I believe Lake MacBride is a special place; however it is no more special than any other public owned, public supported (through your tax dollars) lake.
See you out and about the district,