Inside IECA Government Relations

2024 Legislative Breakfast

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Iowa Capitol dome. Iowa Extension Council Association Legislative Breakfast.  Thursday, February 22 from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. in the legislative dining room of the state capitol in Des Moines

Extension Council members should plan to attend the 2nd annual IECA Legislative Breakfast on Thursday, February 22 from 7:30-9:00 a.m. to share with legislators how Extension and Outreach brings the research to Iowans across the state, bringing impact to the counties where Iowans live and learn.

The breakfast is a key opportunity to share with our legislators the public value and  multi-million dollar impacts that extension has in your communities. Any extension council member is encouraged to attend.

A Legislative Breakfast Briefing will be held on Mon., Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. to share the information council members can use when talking with their legislators. A Zoom link will be sent to those who pre-register for the breakfast.

Register for the Legislative Breakfast

Details for the Legislative Breakfast

Location

Room G15, Iowa State Capitol, 1007 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50319

Parking

There are public lots surrounding the Iowa Capitol Building and a ramp available on Grand Ave. just west of the Capitol.  Please reference the Capitol Complex parking map to ensure that you park in visitor lots.  It will also note accessible parking for persons with disabilities. 

Attire

Wearing business casual is a good option for the day and wearing red helps identify us as being with ISU Extension and Outreach. 

  • A red Extension Council shirt is a great option! 
  • Bring your Extension Council nametag too!

Prepare for the Breakfast

The goal of our legislative breakfast is to share real impact of Extension and Outreach in Iowa and help legislators understand that Extension and Outreach has high public value.  To be efficient in your communication with legislators at the breakfast, here are a few items you can do to prepare ahead of time:

  • Attend the legislative breakfast briefing on Monday, February 19 from 6:30 - 7:00 p.m.  A Zoom link was sent to all council members via email.  Please contact Jennifer Vit or Julie Baumler if you need the link.
  • Familiarize yourself with your county's stakeholder report.  Copies will be provided to each legislator.
  • Review the information on the legislative breakfast folder.  We will be using this folder as a tool for our talking points.  It will hold the county stakeholder reports for each legislator's district. 
  • Read through the 2023 Impact Report for Extension and Outreach to familiarize yourself with some of the million dollar impacts we've had this year.

2024 Legislative Priorities

  • Share Extension and Outreach’s impact in each legislative district.
  • Show how ISU Extension and Outreach has good public value for the tax dollar investment.
  • Educate how Extension and Outreach is funded through a three-way partnership at the federal, state, and county levels.

How Council Members Can Help

  • Share your county stakeholder report and the Extension and Outreach annual report with your legislators at local legislative coffees they hold in your county. Highlight one or two key program successes that show how Extension and Outreach makes an impact in your county. If you are unable to meet with them in person, you could also mail or email the report to them, along with a message to reach out to you if they would like to talk further about how ISU Extension and Outreach impacts the citizens they represent. 
  • The ISU Extension and Outreach Talking Points document has some great suggested highlights to share with your legislators.
  • Help your legislators understand the unique 3-way partnership ISU Extension and Outreach has with federal, state, and county funding sources.  Share the Extension Funding Handout with them and highlight that local property tax revenues are used to fund local programming, staff, and facilities.
  • Familiarize yourself with County Agricultural Extension District Tax Asking Limits that guide the amount (in dollars and levy rate) that a county extension district can levy.
Federal Resources
  • Congress.gov - This is really the only Federal Government website that you need. From here, you can look up Iowa's U.S. Senators and Representatives, view committee membership, search the congressional record, and more.
  • U.S. House of Representatives
  • U.S. Senate
State Resources
  • Effective Education | Simple tips to help you approach elected officials and share your message effectively.
  • Briefing Information on ISU Extension and Outreach  | A brief summary of statewide ISU Extension and Outreach impacts.  This information can be used as support material when talking with elected officials.
  • Making Contacts for ISU Extension and Outreach | This handout is designed for copying and direct distribution to your volunteers. The information provides some basic tips for anyone who wants to talk with decision-makers about the importance of ISU Extension and Outreach's educational programs.  
  • Helping Volunteers Prepare a Message for Decision Makers  | This reference gives pointers for council members to develop a story about the importance of the local Extension program. The tool suggests local data that your Extension staff should have on hand to build facts into the message about the numbers of people involved in Extension, local impacts, etc.
  • Iowa Legislature Link | The website below is your link to State Government information including legislator names, email addresses, committee information and district maps. 
Board of Regents

A portion of the funding for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach from the Iowa Legislature is funneled through the Board of Regents appropriation and then through the Iowa State University line item. County extension district funding does not filter through the Board of Regents. For information about the Iowa Board of Regents, visit the website.