Dubuque Herald Telegraph. May 25, 2022.
Editorial: Iowa Mobile Home Law Brings Small Steps Towards Change
Efforts by Iowa lawmakers to put in place protections for mobile home owners have fared better than they did two years ago.
In the 2020 session, lawmakers coalesced some bipartisan support, gained stakeholder buy-in, and still couldn’t pass legislation.
This year, with renewed efforts, a bill became law, signed by Governor Kim Reynolds last week. The bill is a step in the right direction. If this is the first step on the road to reform, then we will welcome the results as Step 1. If this is all the ground the Legislative Assembly hopes to gain, then the effort is disappointing.
Lawmakers began efforts to strengthen protections for mobile home residents in Iowa after an out-of-state company purchased mobile home parks in 2019 and quickly raised rent. Dubuque-area lawmakers, including Reps. Lindsay James, Shannon Lundgren, and Chuck Isenhart, and the Senses. Carrie Koelker and Pam Jochum, put aside partisan differences and worked together in their respective caucuses two years ago to negotiate soft language to push for passage of the legislation. They spoke with people in the manufactured home industry to make sure the law wouldn’t impede their ability to do business. And several residents of the Table Mound mobile home park went to the state Capitol, along with other manufactured home residents, and pleaded with lawmakers to move the measures forward.
Yet these efforts did not gain enough support to become law.
So far. While those pushing for the effort say the measure isn’t the legislation they were hoping for, it’s better than no movement at all. (Clearly most Democrats didn’t think so, given that most voted against it.)
The primary concern and motivation for the legislation was to prevent private equity from setting up shop and extorting Iowans with skyrocketing rents. And this legislation does nothing to stop this practice.
But the new law will bring incremental changes. The notice period for rent increases will be increased from 60 to 90 days. If he had capped the frequency or the amount of increases, it would have been much more meaningful. But that’s the legislation that lawmakers could push through.
Quad City Times. May 29, 2022.
Editorial: In other words…
We are pleased to see that the Hauberg Mansion at Rock Island is undergoing a complete building and grounds restoration. The land was designed by renowned landscape architect Jens Jensen. The restoration promises to be a true centerpiece for Rock Island and all of the Quad-Cities.
Reason and respect prevailed when Black Hawk Bank & Trust chose to reconsider its previous position and respectfully decline to accept a statue of Chief Black Hawk from the Town of Rock Island. We thought the bank’s original idea of placing the statue in a drive-thru was in bad taste. The bank changed course after encountering Native American groups.
The Iowa legislature has adjourned for the year. Most notably, Republicans have failed to advance GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds’ top priority: using public money to fund private school tuition. We thought it was a bad idea from the start – for all sorts of reasons. We’re also thrilled that lawmakers dropped other sweeping efforts, including a bill that would have criminalized teachers who distribute supposedly obscene material.
Rock Island’s Arts Alley received a $267,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to match the $534,000 raised locally. The money is intended to revitalize the neighborhood as a focal point for arts and culture. Pretty cool.
Violence in Bettendorf schools continues to make headlines, with parents pleading with the school board and administrators to bring the situation under control. While we appreciate the district’s desire to settle things and meet with the parents, we were stunned that it chose to do so in a closed meeting last week. Let’s be clear: Iowa law requires public access to meetings whenever the board meets. That didn’t happen this time. We deserve to know what is happening in our schools, and the solutions must come from all of us, not just people meeting behind closed doors.
Finally, like many in our community, our hearts were broken last week when a woman drove onto the pedestrian path of the I-74 bridge and ran into a group crossing the bridge. A young man was killed at the scene. Another died of his injuries on Thursday. It’s too early to blame, but surely it would have been avoided if barriers had prevented the car from entering the path. The city moved barriers this week to block the passage of cars. Too little, too late.
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