By Jason Hutcheson, PDI President
The Legislative Season Awaits!
Although 2014 is coming to an end, the Iowa Legislature will soon be called into session. It appears as though leadership in both chambers will largely stay unchanged, yet there are several new members of both the house and senate.
PDI's legislative committee, under the leadership of Wayne Pantini, Kiley Miller, and Brian Crowe along with the lobbying team at Campbell/Patterson, have been hard at work formulating your legislative agenda for the upcoming season. While Iowa has enjoyed many economic development successes in recent years, we can not afford to rest on our laurels. There is still much to be done.
I will spotlight a couple of those items for you:
Transportation Infrastructure Among PDI's legislative priorities is a long-term financial solution for Iowa's transportation network. As practitioners, I don't have to tell you about the significance of integrated transportation networks. Our system is not just a section of road, rail, river, or runway here and there. The ability to move freight from Point A to Point B across an entire corridor is what matters to corporate real estate decision-makers. The State of Iowa, as well as our cities and counties, have been deferring maintenance on our roads and bridges for far too long. The bill for that deferred maintenance will eventually come due, and now is the time raise the appropriate revenue for the long-term.
Workforce and Housing Companies need workers, and those workers need a place to live. These two items go hand-in-hand, and PDI members should get acquainted with the Workforce Housing Tax Credit and the continual efforts to align workforce delivery services to the needs of industry. The legislature should continue to seek input from practitioners as they tweak and modify these programs.
PDI Members Need to Engage Legislators represent a wide variety of career tracks and philosophies on economic policy. Their individual specialties span multiple interests. No one can be an expert on every topic, but PDI members ARE experts when it comes to economic development. It is OUR job to link the attraction of jobs and capital investment to policy measures. Much of the general public only understands the basics of economic development, and therefore, legislators often rely on PDI members for insight into important issues. You have a DUTY to know your legislator by name, become familiar with PDI's legislative priorities, and familiarize yourself with the issues to provide timely input. Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Craig Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any of the legislative co-chairs.
Be sure to mark your calendars for PDI's Grow Iowa Day on February 4th