| Posted in: Public Power Champions
We're pleased to recognize Iowa State Sen. Randy Feenstra (R-Hull) as a Public Power Champion. Sen. Feenstra represented the municipal position on several bills throughout the 2019 legislative session.
First, Sen. Feenstra assisted municipals in making sure that electric vehicle legislation allowed the pending Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) rulemaking to be completed. Prior to session, the IUB opened a docket to review how electric vehicle charging stations shall operate in the state. Primarily, municipals and other utilities were concerned with maintaining IUB oversight of the charging stations owned by third parties and with how the stations would purchase power from existing utilities. There were efforts during session to add amendments to the electric vehicle registration bill that would have undermined the IUB docket by passing legislation to force a specific decision by the IUB. Sen. Feenstra worked with other Senators to squash such efforts in order to allow the IUB to make its decision unimpeded.
Additionally, Sen. Feenstra supported the bills on net metering reform. Although the net metering reform bills would not have directly affected municipals, the bills did draw attention to laws that create cross-subsidization between customers, often shifting costs onto low- or fixed-income customers. The bills did not pass, but MRES and its members appreciate the work he did to educate other legislators and the general public on the disparate impact some net metering laws have.
Sen. Feenstra represents Iowa Senate District 2, which includes MRES members Alton, Hartley, Hawarden, Orange City, Paullina, Primghar, Sanborn and Sioux Center. He also is the Senate Assistant Majority Leader and Chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee.