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The 2016 REAP Congress will be held on January 9 in Des Moines, in the House of Representatives chambers, Capitol Building.
The REAP Congress is made up of the 90 delegates elected at the regional assemblies, which occur every two years. At the Congress, delegates work on REAP policies and the inner workings of REAP. Examples are: funding, fund distribution, assembly procedures and agendas, and operations of County REAP Committees. The REAP Law, Chapter 455A.17.3, states:
The delegates to the congress on resources enhancement and protection shall organize, discuss, and make recommendations to the governor, the general assembly, and natural resource commission regarding issues concerning resources enhancement and protection.
It is also important to understand what the REAP Congress does not do; specifically, it is not the time or place to discuss specific REAP projects or project selection. Project-specific discussions are more appropriate at County REAP Committee meetings, REAP assemblies (if the project is regional in nature), and state, county, or city agencies responsible for deciding how REAP is specifically spent.
The one-day Congress agenda primarily follows what the proceeding REAP assemblies have identified as important REAP issues. Ideally, a delegate will discuss these issues with other people in their local area to get more input. Delegates may attend some County REAP Committee meetings to receive input for use during the Congress. They may attend soil conservation district, county conservation board, city council, and historical society meetings to receive suggestions.
The work of the Congress begins on a Saturday morning and ends in mid to late afternoon on that same day. Just like the 18 assemblies, the Congress's first order of business is to elect a chairperson from among its members. Nominations are taken from the floor and a vote is taken to determine the chairperson. With the assistance of the state departments, the chairperson is responsible for leading the Congress through its agenda.
Specific issues are discussed, and if desired, recommendations of the Congress are developed. Votes on each recommendation are taken and with a simple majority of the delegates the motion can be officially adopted as a recommendation by the Congress. These recommendations are submitted to the Governor, General Assembly, or Natural Resources Commission to further consider whether the change is executed.
Delegates to the 2014 Congress were elected at REAP Assemblies in fall 2013.
Previous REAP Congress Reports:
Information to be reviewed by 2014 REAP Congress Delegates:
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Wallace State Office Building, Des Moines, IA 50319