As Iowa continues to move forward and lead in fiscal responsibility, this concept was evident in our legislators’ request to explore the viability of sustainable funding for natural resources. In 2006, the legislatively appointed Sustainable Funding Advisory Committee began their in-depth four year internal and multi-state research in preparation for their comprehensive reports to the Governor and General Assembly.
The results obtained by the Advisory Committee confirmed that supporting the benefits connected to natural resources would be a feasible financial investment. In addition to the many economic benefits Iowa would receive, it would also reap cleaner water, sustainable agriculture and soils, and healthy outdoor related opportunities.
After thoughtful and thorough evaluation of the report findings, legislators deemed a dedicated funding source should be established to address Iowa’s natural resource needs and that the people of Iowa should have a voice on this issue. In 2008 and 2009, proposed legislation was passed to allow the people of Iowa to vote on a Constitutional amendment that would create a dedicated trust fund.
In November 2010, the people of Iowa chose to amend Iowa’s Constitution and create the trust fund and a dedicated funding source. This passage activated Senate File 2310 (SF2310) into law, which provides the framework for the distribution, use, and accountability of the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.
With its new inception and enactment occurring on January 1, 2011, the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund has not acquired any receipts. Therefore, allocations to or expenditures by the funding recipients have not occurred. The identified Departments in SF2310 will be convening partners and stakeholders for the purpose of initiating an appropriate and inclusive rulemaking process. The January 2011 report provides information as outlined in the requirements of Senate File 2310.