- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled House have passed a budget bill that could change decision-making within a Des Moines utility that sued three Iowa counties over polluted water.

The chamber voted 52-39 Tuesday for the standing bill, which often includes language on unrelated projects. The legislation is expected to be sorted out in a special committee.

The House bill would change the board that oversees decisions by Des Moines Water Works to ensure representation from different areas in which the utility provides services.

The utility blames high nitrate levels in its water on fertilizers washing out of farm fields. The issue prompted water quality proposals that have stalled in the Legislature.

Some House Republicans say the board should reflect the utility’s regional growth. Some Democrats questioned the proposal’s motives.

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