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 Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund and a dedicated funding source. This passage activated Senate File 2310 (SF2310) into law on January 1, 2011, which provides the framework for the distribution, use, and accountability of the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. Upon enactment, SF2310 was finalized into Iowa Code Chapter 461. As mandated by Code, annual reports relating to the Trust Fund are submitted to the General Assembly.