Iowa's Land and Water Legacy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa's Land and Water Legacy

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Next month, voters are considering an amendment to Iowa's constitution. Proponents are concerned people will make a choice without knowing what they're saying "yes" or "no" to.

Anyone who knows Matt O'Connor is well aware, the man loves to hunt. Lately, his passion for the outdoors is getting political.

"I really think this is the most important vote of my life," said O'Connor.

He isn't talking about a vote for governor or even congressmember. He's focused on one question at the end of the ballot, and O'Connor's goal is for every Iowa voter to know the answer before they hit the poll.

"When I start off my talks, I say, let's stand up and sing the Star Spangled Banner. And people say, oh this crazy Pheasants Forever guy. But they all get up. And I think this amendment is a lot like that. You know, everyone in Iowa can stand up for our natural resources. It's that important," he said.

The Iowa's Water and Land Legacy Amendment is a long name with a long history in state politics.

"It's well written, it's well thought out legislation. It's not some legislation that was written on the back of a napkin in the last hour of a legislative session," said O'Connor.

What it will do, is create a trust fund to invest in natural resources and outdoor recreation. For example, preventing soil erosion and flooding, or cleaning up Iowa's many polluted waterways.

Another important point -- this is not a vote to increase taxes. In the future, if state legislators vote to raise the state sales tax the Iowa Water and Land Legacy Amendment would receive 3/8 of each cent earned.

"As you folks in Waterloo or Cedar Rapids work for structural changes along the river to help protect people, we're talking about looking at the whole system and working on the top of the watershed. And helping create a better water system so there's not as much flooding," O'Connor explained.

Whether you're a hunter like him, or simply enjoy a picnic by the river, O'Connor wants you to think of it this way: a "yes" vote preserves the outdoors you love for future generations.

Click here for more information about Iowa's Water and Land Legacy Amendment.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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