Media Release from Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities:

The Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU) values the efforts of Iowa representatives and senators who understand, appreciate, and advance the interests of Iowa’s municipal utilities in the Iowa Legislature.

IAMU would like to recognize two legislators for their efforts during the last two legislative sessions. IAMU is honored to present Legislative Achievement Awards to Sen. Mark Lofgren (Senate District 46) and Rep. Gary Carlson (House District 91).

In 2017, as floor manager of the Economic Development budget bill, Lofgren helped to reduce the costs of municipal utilities by crafting legislation to end the fees imposed on municipal utility gas and electric revenues paid to the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB). This will save municipal utilities in Iowa hundreds of thousands of dollars every year and would not have been possible without Lofgren’s leadership on the Appropriations committee.

In 2017, Carlson floor managed a bill that restored local control of deposits and debt collection to municipal utilities after the IUB unilaterally asserted jurisdiction on these items, departing from almost 30 years of its own regulatory precedent. In 2018, Carlson was instrumental in the passage of SF 2311, an omnibus energy policy bill that not only saved ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars but also gave back local control to municipal utilities over energy efficiency programs and rate setting for private generation.

“IAMU appreciates the time and effort that Sen. Lofgren and Rep. Carlson devoted to municipal utility interests over the last couple of years,” said Troy DeJoode, IAMU executive director. “It is clear that these two legislators understand and value the role that municipal utilities play in their communities.”

In addition to their other efforts, in 2018, Carlson and Lofgren collaborated on the passage of HF 2379 — a bill that will help recruitment of qualified candidates to municipal utilities such as Muscatine Power and Water (MP&W) with their own pension plan by allowing candidates to maintain their IPERS coverage when beginning employment.

“MP&W employees are grateful to Sen. Lofgren and Rep. Carlson for being a voice for them in the Iowa legislature,” said Sal LoBianco, General Manager for Muscatine Power and Water. “We appreciate a collaborative working relationship with our elected officials. They continue to demonstrate their interest in issues that affect municipal utilities, like they have in their hometown, and work with us to find solutions in Des Moines.”

Learn More about the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities.