A roundup of legislative and Capitol news items of interest for Friday:
FOOD STAMP INCREASE: Nearly all Iowans receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — food stamps — will see a modest increase in benefits in October to account for a recent federal government review that took into account factors including the increasing cost of food, the Iowa Department of Human Services announced.
The update resulted in an approximate 27 percent increase in benefits. However, the change is taking place at the same time a pandemic-related increase will end. The December 2020 COVID-19 federal relief bill included a 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits from January through September 2021.
The net result is that most families will see an increase of $12 to $16 per person each month, DHS said.
The changes will happen automatically, and recipients will see the increased benefits on their EBT cards in October.
For more information, visit https://dhs.iowa.gov/food-assistance
ABORTION SUPPORT: Fifteen Iowa legislators joined more than 800 other state lawmakers in an amicus brief stating their support for legal abortion.
The brief was filed Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a U.S. Supreme Court case likely to have significant impact on legal abortion. The brief, signed by 896 state legislators from 45 states, represents the strongest showing ever recorded of state legislators supporting legal abortion nationwide, according to SIX, the State Innovation Exchange, which is committed to building progressive power at the state level.
The Iowa lawmakers who signed the brief were Sens. Joe Bolkcom, Nate Boulton, Claire Celsi, Bill Dotzler, Sarah Trone Garriott, Eric Giddens, Jim Lykam, Janet Petersen, Herman Quirmbach, Jackie Smith, Todd Taylor and Zach Wahls, and Reps. Marti Anderson, Bruce Hunter and Mary Mascher.
DOT AUCTION: A public auction of state-owned vehicles, equipment and other surplus items will be held Oct. 16 by the Iowa Department of Transportation on its grounds in Ames. Registration begins at 7 a.m. and the sale is at 9 a.m. in the Iowa DOT auction building near 931 S. Fourth St.
Passenger vehicles to be sold include Ford and Chevy sedans, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles and Dodge minivans. Other items will include but are not limited to trailers, plows, tires, mowers, brine tanks, spray equipment, tampers, a concrete buggy and lawn equipment.