Sodders plans Washington trip to push for training facility funding

Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center, is planning a trip to Washington, D.C. at the end of next week to push for federal funding assistance for his proposed public safety training facility.

Sodders introduced this proposal last year in the Senate. It calls for a $30 to $40 million facility to be built in Iowa to train law enforcement, firefighters and EMS personnel.

“I think it’s a good thing for all of Iowa to have the best trained law enforcement, firefighters and EMS,” Sodders said.

Sodders said the bill he has proposed in the Iowa Senate has moved further along this year, and he expects floor debate early next week on it. He said the facility would be paid through an increase in the premium on the state property tax insurance. The issue hits close to home since Sodders is a Marshall County Sheriff’s deputy.

While in Washington, Sodders will meet with U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, about the training facility.

“I’ll see if they have any assistance for avenues for federal funding,” Sodders said.

Sodders will also push for federal funding for community action agencies while speaking with Harkin and Braley.

Sodders announced recently his intention to explore the possibility of running for Braley’s seat in 2014 in the U.S. House. He said Friday he is still in the exploratory phase of a possible congressional run.