Statehouse leaders must do a better job of improving the lives of Iowans by giving them more opportunities to get ahead. 

When we invest in people, Iowans win.

The state’s Economic Development budget for the next year doesn’t do nearly enough. 

SF 608 passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on a party-line vote and awaits debate by the full Senate. 

Although the bill includes some good programs that help with the apprenticeships and business incentives, the overall budget is inadequate to meet Iowa’s job creation, economic growth and community development needs.

In the weeks ahead, I hope we can come together on long-term economic development solutions that will move our state forward. 

A good place to start is our Putting Iowans First plan. 

It calls for bringing better jobs to every community, with a special emphasis on revitalizing our small towns and rural areas. 

That means:

• Expanding creation of well-paying, future-focused jobs in all 99 counties.

• Improving access to high-speed Internet in rural areas.

• Making sure all Iowans live in safe, affordable housing.

• Ensuring adequate child care and transportation services.

• Increasing cultural and recreational opportunities.

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