Senate File 388, a bill to name U.S. Highway 20 “Iowa Patriots Memorial Highway,” hit a bit of a snag in subcommittee on Wednesday morning. Despite the speedbump, the bill advanced through the subcommittee.
Susan Fenton of the Iowa Department of Transportation said the DOT is confused because they’ve received requests from the American Legion to name the highway the “Medal of Honor Highway” on behalf of the American Legion.
“This is called the Iowa Patriots Memorial Highway,” she said. “So it’s nationwide effort to name it the Medal of Honor Highway. We’re just a little confused on what the name should be.”
The DOT doesn’t want the state to go through the work of naming the highway if it is the wrong name in the legislation.
Rob Szalay of American Legion of Iowa said the group favors the bill, though he wasn’t aware of the confusion regarding the name of the highway.
“We’re deeply in favor of this bill,” he said. “We’ve pushed it from the beginning. The American Legion believes that we need some representation on the roads for our veterans and we’d certainly appreciate your support on this.”
Fenton said the DOT prefers that if signage for the highway’s name is an issue that the organization requesting the sign pay for it so it doesn’t come out of road-use funds.
“We’re fine with the bill as it is,” she said. “We just want some clarification on the name.”
All three Representatives — Dan Huseman, Gary Worthan and Jennifer Konfrst — signed the bill out of subcommittee with the understanding the name issue will have to be figured out.
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