Grow Cedar Valley Releases 2022 Legislative Policy Agenda
posted on Monday, November 22, 2021 in Government Affairs
CEDAR VALLEY 2021 LEGISLATIVE POLICY AGENDA
Economic Growth for the Cedar Valley and for Iowa is our priority
Grow Cedar Valley advocates for smart pro-business policies on a continuous basis that support our priority of economic growth for the Cedar Valley and for Iowa. During the 2022 session of the Iowa Legislature, we believe the focus must be on talent attraction, recruitment and retention. The slow growth in Iowa’s population has placed overwhelming pressure on our businesses as they struggle to ﬁnd qualiﬁed candidates, with appropriate skills, who are ready to work. As we approach the 2022 session, Grow Cedar Valley encourages the Legislature to focus on attracting talent to ensure future economic growth. We would also call for attention to work in other areas, particularly economic development infrastructure.
Grow Cedar Valley supports developing policy strategies to grow Iowa’s population and workforce.
- Continue to make Iowa a welcoming environment that is inclusive of a broad diversity of people
- Ensure state workforce and economic development programs can address the most pressing employee needs like child-care, housing costs, and student debt
- Incentivize and develop opportunities for former and current Iowans to return and stay
- Retain more Iowans from our community colleges, private colleges and universities, and the Regents institutions with potential tools to encourage their graduates to become lifelong Iowans
- Strongly support programs and training opportunities that offer direct access to skilled training for employers
- Attract new Americans by pushing for a uniform immigration system across all states to vet international talent and policies that welcome those new Americans to Iowa.
Community placemaking projects and recreational opportunities are vital components of Iowa’s workforce attraction and retention strategy. Placemaking involves:
- Creating attractive places for people to live and work
- Developing quality of life projects that leverage a local community’s assets
- Ensuring programs are in place to provide resources to communities pursuing such projects.
Communities across the state offer different or unique opportunities that can be enhanced to appeal to the current or future workforce; the Cedar Valley region is no exception. Grow Cedar Valley supports:
- Partnerships between the state and local communities that provide sustainable and Permanent funding sources for specific projects.
- Continued funding for programs such as the Community Attraction and Tourism grant program and the Iowa Main Street grant program.
These regional efforts see the state as a partner in the development of projects that need additional resources as well as stable policy to provide certainty in regional coordination for these projects. Ending the fiscal year with over $1 billion in surplus offers an opportunity to make one-time investments in these types of projects that will lead to positive revenue growth for state and local budgets.
Complementary GCV priorities for 2022
Grow Cedar Valley will pursue several priorities during the 2022 Legislative Session that are complementary to the goal of seeing growth in the economy of our region and the state in an inclusive and beneficial way with specific support for the following:
- Develop and support incentives with proven return in targeted industries
- Maintain important economic development tools, such as the research activities credits, high quality jobs credits and historic reservation credits, brownfields/grayfields tax credits and other DNR programming and incentives that help redevelopment of infill sites, as well as ensuring the sustainability of tax increment financing (TIF) and abatements for use by our local governments, that encourage expansion of existing businesses and recruitment of diverse new businesses
- Support education at all levels from pre-school through post-high school options
- Provide additional general fund appropriations for the University of Northern Iowa and level funding for UNI Business and Community Services
- Fully fund Future Ready Iowa that supports Hawkeye Community College and Cedar Valley K-12 schools initiatives
- Expand targeted investments and incentives for the Iowa manufacturing sector as outlined in the Iowa Manufacturing 4.0 Plan
- Make business expansion and relocation decisions more competitive with a reduction of the corporate income tax rate
- Encourage long-term infrastructure planning and examination of innovative funding mechanisms and delivery methods, such as public-private partnerships and alternative project delivery methods, that protect taxpayers and make the necessary resources available for the signiﬁcant capital investments required
- Align local infrastructure needs with potential federal infrastructure initiatives so the Cedar Valley is optimally positioned to capitalize on any such opportunities
- Support and bolster state-wide efforts to retain “first in the nation” status for both political party caucuses