Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - March 25, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
House Move Underway To Combine DOT, OEM Bills
By William L. Khcrline
DES MOINES (AI*) - A move is under way in the Iowa house to convert a state department of transportation proposed in a senate-passed biil into a department of transportation a n d energy management (DTEM).
Supporters of the move say it would accomplish two of (lov. Robert Hay’s recommendations in one bill while avoiding creation of two full fledged agencies.
Opponents, however, complain that it would fall short of setting up a complete department of transportation (DOT)
as legislation offered earlier in the house would do.
An amendment to set up the DTEM has been prepared by the house appropriations cornin i 11 e e , headed by Rep. Charles Grassley (R-New Hartford).
Rep. Laverne Schroeder (R-
McClelland) chairman of the t ransportation appropriations subcommittee, said he expects to bring the senate-passed DOT bill up in the house some time this week.
It has been attacked by Rep. Arthur Small (D-Iowa City) as an incredibly weak measure which would do nothing to help solve Iowa’s pressing transportation problems, particularly those of railroads.
“The senate took a gutless bill and then gutted it,” Small said.
As it came from the senate, the bill contains “not one single solitary word about the rails,” he said.
Sen. Riley: Criminal Code Revision Passage Futile
DES MOINES - What appeared to be a foregone conclusion last week became a certainty Monday when State Sen.
Tom Riley (R-Cedar Rapids) said “it is futile” to try to pass a criminal code revision bill this year.
Riley, chairman of the senate judiciary committee which
studied the bill, acknowledged it--
is finished for this session when,w0 u I d only prejudice he decided to move ahead with chances of the other bills.” a separate immunity bill as a result of last week’s one-day police strike in Cedar Rapids.
Too Many Others
“By taking up the immunity bill (SF 568),” Riley told The Gazette, “I’ve decided it is futile to go forward this session with the criminal code revision bill (SF 1150).
“There are too many other bills pending that will pass the legislature and that are needed, so further debate on SF
Even so, Riley continued, “the debate on the criminal code revision bill so far has not been wasted.
it can be passed in some form at that session.”
The senate leadership sidetracked the criminal code revision bill after a few days debate to try to work out something behind the scenes that would be acbeptable.
It was thought the sidetracking would be temporary but when house leaders made it clear the bill wouldn’t have much chance to be considered there this session, that seemed to end hopes of resuming debate on it in the senate.
Riley’s decision, as judiciary committee chairman, to take up the immunity biil made it defi-
“It has caused a public awareness which, unfortunately,
the numerous study committee nite the revision measure won’t
meetings failed to engender. debated, at least in its en-
„ 1 m-T t,rety, again in the senate this “Between now and the 1975 ____.•_
legislative session, I anticipate
a cohesion on most principal:
1150|parts of the criminal code bill so1
Rooming House, 3 Businesses,
Fortunately, the immunity bill is on the “unfinished business” calendar, so it can be
taken up anytime. Riley said
he plans to ask that it be considered Monday.
The bill would allow the
of immunity to wit-
I driven by Philip iiustad. 19. of "*?* re?.uired ‘ogive »crimi-
Decorah was struck by an auto"8'"* " H™'d
J the grand jury to get the facts
! DECORAH — Two cars were demolished Sunday in a collision ;at Freeport. Officers said a car granting
Destroyed by Fire
(driven by David Thompson, 20,r"\ lu
LAPORTE CITY (UPI)-Firc(of Waveriy. which pulled on,„^JompWc^an ^atuon
Sunday destroyed a house and an adjacent building housing three establishments on
^.i,, , ’ . ... .without abridging constitutional
rooming: Freeport s main street without ... b b
stopping. Thompson was _
'.n ll L AKL Lf! V N Pi1
charged with entering a thor-
. . . ,,, * . o u g h f a r e without stopping.
the main street of this northeast ^ werc p0 jnjurjes
Firemen said the blaze apparently began in a rooming house owned by Mabel Angel and spread to the adjacent Masonic lodge building. That building also housed Cline’s Electrical Shop and Gate’s Barber Shop.
Fire officials said both buildings were destroyed. The cause, however, was unknown.
Firemen from Waterloo and Hudson joined Laporte City firefighters in battling the blaze, which broke out about 12:35 a m. Sunday. A skeleton crew remained at the scene for several hours after the fire was brought under control.
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Schroeder said the amendment drafted by the appropriations committee would give the governor the DOT he has been pressing for, and at the same time provide the office of energy management he proposed early in the session to deal with emergency fuel and energy allocation programs.
Ray said the energy office need not be a permanent agency and could go out of existence if the nation’s energy shortage is overcome.
The amendment would make the DTEM responsible for developing a comprehensive state transportation plan and for additional duties in the energy field.
It would be headed by a seven member bipartisan commission appointed by the governor with approval of the senate. The commission would hire a director.
The state geologist, Iowa commerce commission chairman, department of environmental quality director and
state comptroller would be non voting advisory members of the commission.
T h e commission’s first duties would be to develop a comprehensive state transportation policy by Jan. I, 1975, and a comprehensive transportation plan to be submitted to the legislature not later than Jan. 1,1976.
In the energy field, the director and commission would he empowered to contract with fuel suppliers to establish a state-owned emergency fuel reserve.
That would be similar to the emergency fuel allocation plan which has teen operated in Iowa tile last two winters by the governor’s office and his two top energy advisers, State Geologist Sam Tuthill and Commerce Commission Chairman Maurice Van Nostrand.
The commission also would cooperate with federal officials to implement any federally - mandated petroleum allocation and rationing programs.
The amendment also would give the governor power to declare fuel or energy emergencies during which he could by executive order regulate the operating hours of energy consuming entities, both public and private, and direct the department director to es
tablish an energy distribution and supply system.
It couldn’t include a coupon gasoline or fuel oil rationing program, however, unless it is federally mandated.
The amendment also seeks to compromise a battle that developed in the house last year between those who wanted to set up a full scale DOT and transfer most of the agencies now involved in transportation regulation to it, and those who wanted to create only a study commission to develop a state transportation plan.
It says the new commission and director could call upon the highway commission, reciprocity board, state safety department, commerce commission and aeronautics commission for assistance.
Employes of those agencies, however, would not be transferred. They would remain in the employ of their respective agencies.
It also seeks to meet criticism by Small and others about the bill’s shortcomings regarding railroads.
The amendment says the commission would be required to plan “an essential rail network” for the state.
Its plan would have to identify rail lines not subject to abandonment which, if improved, would better serve the
public; develop programs to encourage improvement of rail freight service and upgrading of branch lines; and develop programs to maintain and improve safe, economical and energy-efficient transpor
tation of goods by rail, water or other means.
It also would be required to identify locations where there is potential for a public mass transit service and inter-city rail service.
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