December Joint Meeting Promotes Partnerships
NIPCO's Joint Legislative Meeting has become a powerful tool to educate state and federal lawmakers on the cooperative industry and the issues vital to serving members in western Iowa. On December 18, cooperative staff members and directors from NIPCO, Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative, North West REC, WIPCO, and Woodbury County REC met with national and state legislators to discuss issues and topics related to the rural electric cooperative industry.
Legislators who were present included United States Congressman Randy Feenstra, a dedicated advocate for Iowa's electric cooperatives, Iowa Senator Kevin Alons (SD 7), and Iowa Representatives Jacob Bossman (HD 14), Ken Carlson (HD 13), Robert Henderson (HD 2), and Tom Jeneary (HD 3). Representative Bossman also represented US Senator Chuck Grassley, and Kolby DeWitt attended as the Regional Director representing US Senator Joni Ernst. Congressman Feenstra's Regional Director Wes Fopma and District Director Emily Schwickerath were also present.
The primary message to lawmakers from Iowa's electric cooperatives centered on protecting service territory laws, preserving the current regulatory framework, and promoting legislation that ensures energy reliability.
Annual legislative meetings have served as a valuable resource to deepen understanding and build lasting relationships with legislative partners.
Local media covered the event and provided additional perspective from Congressman Feenstra and NIPCO Executive Vice President and General Manager Matt Washburn:
Watch the coverage:
Iowa Co-ops Welcome Legislators Back to Session in Des Moines
In January, NIPCO staff represented western Iowa cooperatives at the 2024 Welcome Back Legislative Reception in downtown Des Moines hosted by the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives in conjunction with the Iowa Biotechnology Association, the Iowa Communications Alliance, the Iowa Institute for Cooperatives, and FUELIowa.
The event provided a valuable opportunity to meet with state legislators at the beginning of the 2024 Legislative Session to discuss issues impacting rural electric cooperatives and the communities they serve.
In the coming months, the Iowa General Assembly will address many issues, including energy-related matters central to Iowa's rural economy. Beginning with the Welcome Back Legislative Reception, Iowa electric cooperatives will again be influential advocates for a balanced approach to addressing energy issues to power lives and empower communities.
To learn more about our advocacy efforts, visit www.iaruralpower.org