Dems: Attracting more Iowans with our great quality of life

April 19, 2016

One of our top priorities for the 2016 session is taking more steps to expand Iowa’s middle class. That includes attracting and retaining more workers.


According to the Iowa Business Council’s 2016 report, Iowa employers will need to fill an expected 612,000 job openings by 2025. That’s a challenge for Iowa, which has a relatively low unemployment rate and slow population growth—partially due to young, talented Iowans seeking employment elsewhere because they think the quality of life and amenities are better.


Senate File 2308, approved on a bipartisan vote in the Senate, will spur Iowa’s economy by attracting more visitors and tourism, as well as young professionals and families to live, work and play here. It would provide resources to programs that enhance Iowa’s economic development, create recreational and cultural opportunities, and invest in natural resources that make Iowa a more appealing place.


Each year that the state has a surplus of more than $100 million, $25 million will go to these “Enhance Iowa” efforts. The money will be used for state and county parks, river recreation and trails, community attractions and sporting events. With this bill, Iowa communities will have more chances to bring in events with regional and national appeal, such as NCAA sports, U.S. Olympic Trials, professional golf tournaments, NASCAR and Special Olympics.


If the bill passes the House and is signed into law, the Enhance Iowa Board will start its work this fall. SF 2308 is a step in the right direction to make Iowa an even better place for young people to call home and for established Iowans to enjoy and prosper.


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