Empower Rural Iowa Legislation Advances

March 7, 2019

Members of a House Ways and Means subcommittee met Wednesday to discuss HSB 204. The legislation is a result of the governor’s Empower Rural Iowa initiative and recommendations from task force meetings throughout the state this fall. ABI spoke in favor of the legislation and provided examples as to the number of jobs in rural Iowa. The bill makes changes to the broadband policy in code, and also increases the amount of workforce housing tax credits available and makes the program competitive. We do expect to see some changes to the legislation, specifically to the broadband language in the proposal. The bill aligns well with ABI’s workforce and competitive business climate priorities for the 2019 legislative session. The next step in the process is for the legislation to advance through the Ways and Means Committee.