Empower Rural Iowa Initial Recommendations Submitted to Governor

December 20, 2018

Last week in Sheffield at Sukup Manufacturing, ABI attended a joint meeting of all three task forces that comprise the Empower Rural Iowa Initiative, led by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg. The purpose of the meeting was to unveil and approve initial recommendations created by the task forces to address housing, connectivity and leadership needs in rural Iowa.

The task force recommended expanding the rural set-aside in the workforce housing tax credit and making that program competitive instead of first-come, first served. The task force also recommended taking advantage of the state’s existing broadband program and finding a consistent funding source for it.

During the discussion, task force members had the opportunity to comment on next steps or other ideas not included in the recommendations. One suggestion was creating a prison-housing program where prisoners would manufacture modular homes under the purview of Iowa Prison Industries. ABI has policy opposing this idea because of government competition with the private sector.

Gov. Reynolds will consider what was presented to her and then likely include her final recommendations for Empower Rural Iowa in her Condition of the State address in January. You can read the governor’s press release and the full list of initial recommendations.