Posted by Effie Hall on Jul 03, 2019

Senator Joni Ernst spoke at the Grinnell Rotary Club regular meeting on Tues., July 2nd, her sixth stop that day on her 10-day break from Washington D.C.

As expected, she spoke of issues she considered important to Iowans. Among them are her support of E15 fuel and the need for vigilance over Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) so that large oil companies do not get waivers for smaller refineries that they own, exempting them from ethanol production requirements.  

Ernst cited the need for additional disaster relief for farmers affected by recent flooding in addition to the passage of the Disaster Relief Act. She talked about farmers owning grain bins along the Missouri River that burst during the flood, ruining $7 million worth of stored grain—a loss not covered by insurance.

Less known are her efforts to work on a paid family leave act that would enable new parents to have paid family leave when they have a baby.  Among other things, the bill will allow these parents to defer retirement by two months for every month of paid family leave.  

Ernst spoke lengthily of her work on lowering the cost of prescription drugs through specific bills that would prevent “patent thickening” – the practice of pharmaceuticals to change a patent slightly that extends the life of the patent - and “sham patent transfers” that occur when a drug company sells a patent to a Native American tribe that is considered a sovereign nation, and thus, outside U.S. jurisdiction.

She emphasized the need for constituents to reach out to lawmakers to help them become  aware of what is going on in a community. 

The Grinnell Rotary Club meets on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. at West Side Family Dining on 6th Ave., Grinnell.