What is a Green Amendment?

Green Amendments are self executing provisions added to the Bill of Rights section of a constitution that recognize and protect the rights of all people -regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or income, including future generations – to pure water, clean air, a stable climate, and healthy environments.

What’s Happening in Iowa?

On Earth Day 2021, Iowa became the 13th state to propose a Green Amendment. The Amendment (HJR12) would give every Iowan a right to a clean and healthy environment and was proposed by Representatives Chuck Isenhart, Art Staed, Timi Brown-Powers, Sharon Steckman, Bruce Hunter, Marti Anderson, and Cindy Winckler. The primary sponsor, Representative Isenhart, sat down with the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club to discuss this environmental rights amendment. Watch the recording here.

The proposed amendment would adding the following section to Article 1 of the Constitution of the State of Iowa:

“Every person has the right to a clean and healthy environment, including pure water, clean air, ecologically healthy habitats, and the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic, and aesthetic qualities of the environment. The state shall not infringe upon these rights by action or inaction. The state’s public natural resources, including its soils, waters, air, flora, fauna, climate, and public lands, are the common property of the people, including both present and future generations. As trustee of these resources, the state shall conserve, maintain, and restore these resources for the health and benefit of all the people. This section and the rights stated herein are self-executing and shall be in addition to any rights conferred by the public trust doctrine or common law.”

Learn about the process to amend the Iowa Constitution here. More Iowa specific resources and petition coming soon.

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