IBC Optimistic for 2021 Session After Condition of the State Speech
January 13, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 12, 2021
Investment in Broadband, Child Care and Affordable Housing Critical to Iowa’s Success
DES MOINES – Governor Kim Reynolds addressed a number of bipartisan issues in her Condition of the State speech that have been the focus of Iowa Business Council (IBC) members leading into the 2021 legislative session. These agenda items include: broadband, child care, affordable housing and workforce development.
“The Iowa Business Council is excited to see a number of our legislative priorities included in the Governor’s proposal. The long-term significance of these issues cannot be overstated,” says IBC Executive Director Joe Murphy. “As we emerge from the pandemic, we look forward to working with Governor Reynolds and lawmakers to enhance the state’s economic vitality moving forward,” he adds.
The Iowa Business Council 2021 state legislative agenda includes:
• Competitive Tax Policy: To continue to strengthen Iowa’s economic climate, the IBC will remain engaged in efforts that provide a simple, transparent, and stable tax structure. The IBC supported the efforts of the 2020 Invest in Iowa Act and will support continued efforts in 2021 to make Iowa’s tax code more competitive for all taxpayers.
• Broadband Connectivity: Virtually all aspects of Iowa’s economy, educational attainment, and healthcare delivery is now centered around broadband connectivity. The IBC supports efforts to significantly invest in this critical infrastructure to provide universal broadband access across Iowa. State appropriations, matching grant funding opportunities, and bonding combined with a dedicated source of funding are areas in which the necessary investment could be achieved.
• Workforce Development: The IBC will continue to support investments in the Future Ready Iowa initiative, including the Last Dollar Scholarship and Employer Innovation Fund, and other efforts that enhance the development of a talented workforce. The IBC will additionally support innovative policies that lead to an increase in Iowa’s talent pipeline.
• Child Care: As the state continues to recover from the pandemic, access to high quality, affordable child care has never been more important to Iowa’s families and the economy. Iowa leads the nation with both parents working outside the home. Yet 23% of Iowans live within a child care desert. As a result, the IBC supports efforts to further address the child care cliff effect while also increasing access to high quality, affordable child care.
• Housing: The availability of adequate workforce housing directly impacts the economic climate in Iowa’s communities. As the state continues to recover from the economic consequences of the pandemic, housing is poised to be a vital catalyst for expanded economic growth and development. Therefore, the IBC supports the expansion of the workforce housing tax credit and increased investment in the state housing trust fund.