Farm Bureau sets legislative policies for 2010
The federal deficit, the need to grow renewable fuel usage and measures to ensure the integrity of Iowa roads brought lively debate among the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation voting delegates who met in West Des Moines Sept. 3 and 4 to approve policy. The state's largest grassroots farm organization members gather annually to approve policies that impact farmers and all Iowans.
IFBF President Craig Lang, who also serves as Chair on the American Farm Bureau Federation Federal Deficit Task Force, said, "Thanks to a U.S. government spending spree, our deficit is the largest in our nation's history, well over $1.8 trillion. Our members don't want to see our children and grandchildren have to shoulder the burden of our nation or state fiscal irresponsibility. Our voting delegates agreed it is essential that Congress achieves a balanced budget and that means finding ways to reduce our over-grown debt. Nothing else will lead to long-term economic security for our nation."
Fiscal responsibility was also the cornerstone of IFBF's state policy development. Voting delegates discussed Iowa's current budget situation and decided that rather than changing Iowa's tax code by eliminating federal deductibility, our lawmakers should focus on reducing expenditures, finding new efficiencies and prioritizing their spending. "In the end, we're just asking them to make the same decisions that all Iowans have to make in this downturned economy," said Lang.
Discussion was also lengthy regarding the need to focus on policy at both the state and federal level increasing usage of renewable fuels. The policy approved will also help reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil.
National policies that brought much debate included changes to interstate truck weight limits.
"Farm Bureau delegates stand behind the need to protect the integrity of our interstates. Without consistent rules for truck weight limits, maintenance costs will escalate and safety for all Iowans will be jeopardized," said Lang.
The Sept. 3 and 4 Summer Policy Conference is a step in Farm Bureau's grassroots policy development process, with the Iowa Farm Bureau's national policies yet to be submitted to the AFBF. All state Farm Bureaus meet in January to finalize the organization's national policies.