Iowa Senate passes industrial hemp law moving it to House
DES MOINES — The Iowa Senate has sent a bill legalizing the growing of industrial hemp to the House for consideration.
The Iowa Hemp Act passed the Senate Monday 49-1.
Sen. Kevin Kinney, a farmer from Oxford said he hopes to make hemp a third leading commodity in Iowa in addition to corn and soybeans.
The bill allows licensed growers to cultivate the crop on up to 40 acres.
Industrial hemp can be used in food, fiber, paper and other products and Kinney said it's been estimated it could grow to be a $1.9 billion market by 2022.
The National Conference of State Legislatures said at least 38 states considered legislation last year after the federal government eased restrictions in the Farm Bill on commercial production.
Nebraska lawmakers gave a bill its first-round approval Monday but it must pass twice more before it goes to the governor.
Iowa governor seeks $25M for state flood fund, creates board
DES MOINES — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is asking lawmakers for $15 million from the ending balance of the current year's budget for immediate work on levees and repairs in flooded communities. She's also seeking $10 million from next year's budget to accelerate housing improvements.
Reynolds announced her request Monday, saying federal money often takes months or years to arrive.
Reynolds also announced the creation of a Flood Recovery Advisory Board, which will coordinate state recovery efforts. Reynolds said she'll lead the panel of up to 15 people.
Flooding in March damaged more than 50 levees stretching about 250 miles along the Missouri River. Reynolds said 25,000 homes were destroyed or have major damage and more than 4,200 businesses were affected.
Early damage estimates provided to the federal government for a disaster declaration total $1.6 billion but Reynolds said that is likely to grow.
Iowa officials report 1st confirmed measles case since 2011
DES MOINES — Health officials have reported the first confirmed Iowa case of measles since 2011.
The Iowa Public Health Department said Monday the person wasn't vaccinated and contracted measles while on a trip to Israel, where outbreaks have been reported.
Iowa officials are working with the infected person as well as with people he or she potentially exposed. The department said there's no indication of any threat to the general public.
U.S. officials said 90 measles cases were reported across the United States last week, and 555 cases have been reported in 20 states this year.
Measles symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough and a rash. It's highly contagious to the unvaccinated and can be fatal.