Iowa considering letting grocery stores stop taking bottles for deposit refunds

4 The Record

Republican leadership indicates deal might be close

Democrats on Capitol Hill might try to eliminate or temporarily circumvent the filibuster in the Senate to adopt legislation they want, Illinois state lawmakers consider whether to support local journalism and returning empty bottles at grocery stores in Iowa for money could become a thing of the past.

We’ll talk about that this morning with Scott County Democratic Party Chair Elesha Gayman and former Rock Island County Republican Party Chair Bill Bloom.

The bottle bill

Attempts to change the law in the past have failed.

The Des Moines Register reports lawmakers could be close to a deal.

This proposal would increase the money that goes to redemption centers.

But would get rid of the requirement that grocery stores and other businesses accept the empty containers and refund the nickel deposit.

The Register reports Senator Chuck Grassley actually weighed in to keep the current bottle law intact.

I’ve seen those lines get backed up at the grocery store customer service counters.

People are passionate on both sides of this issue.

Gayman and Bloom weighed in on if it is time for a change and what can be done to satisfy both sides — if anything.

Local journalism task force

Government and journalism often intersect.

Now that intersection could be different in Illinois.

State Senator Steve Stadelman sponsored a bill that would form something called a local journalism task force.

Its mission would to be make sure local news is provided to underserved cities and counties across the state.

This task force would consist of ten people from print media, broadcast, journalism schools as well as state and local government.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang proposed something like this during his campaign.

Bloom and Gayman discussed how necessary something like this is and what the risk is that this could create media outlets that are beholden to the state.

Filibuster

Democrats have an ambitious agenda now that they control the House, the Senate and the White House.

But that razor thin majority in the Senate keeps them from getting a lot of it done unless they can get around the filibuster — the 60 vote requirement to end debate on a bill and allow a floor vote that only requires a simple majority.

The Senate rule’s been the reason very little gets accomplished.

Democrats block Republicans when they’re in power and vice versa.

Democrats loosened the rule during the Obama administration to confirm federal judges.

Republicans took it a step further by abandoning it for Supreme Court nominees.

Neither party wants to get rid of the filibuster when in the minority.

It’s not used like it was originally, it’s used a lot more than ever and it’s not in the Constitution.

Gayman and Bloom shared their thoughts on keeping it and if getting rid of the filibuster would give both parties the chance to advance their agendas when in power.

Watch the full conversation in the video above.

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