Empower Rural Iowa Legislation Heads to Governor

April 25, 2019

Earlier this month, ABI’s Business Record Iowa highlighted the leadership and efforts of Gov. Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Gregg of their Empower Rural Iowa initiative and the task forces they appointed to make recommendations to increase vitality and opportunities in rural Iowa. On Tuesday, the House acted upon the task force recommendations by passing the Empower Rural Iowa Act 97-0.

HF 772 increases the workforce housing tax credit cap by $5 million and allocates those funds to the rural set-aside portion of the program. The bill makes the program competitive versus first come first served. There is a one-time use of all monies in the program to help clear out the rural set-aside backlog. In section 16 of the bill, $10 million is allocated for housing tax credits in an area that has been declared a major disaster by the president. The legislation also enacts several changes to the state’s broadband policy to encourage more investment in underserved areas of the state.

The Iowa Senate debated the legislation Wednesday and passed the bill on a 50-0 vote. The governor released a statement after the passage of the bill in the Legislature. The bill, also an ABI priority, heads to the governor. She is expected to sign it.