Empower Rural Iowa Advances Out of House Ways and Means

April 11, 2019

The House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday afternoon amended and passed HSB 204, which is the governor’s Empower Rural Iowa legislation related to broadband policy and increasing the workforce housing tax credit cap. The new bill number is HF 772. Some highlights of the new bill include using federal definitions for download and upload speeds as it relates to broadband, criteria for applicants to receive an award, changes the definition of a small city for purposes of the workforce housing tax incentive program, and allowing a one-time use of the workforce housing monies to clear the backlog for the small cities. The bill passed with a strong bipartisan vote of 23-2. The Empower Rural Iowa legislation fits well with ABI’s workforce and competitive business climate priorities that seek to address workforce housing and expand broadband connectivity across the state.