Workforce Initiatives, Iowa Hemp Act and More: Success from 2019 Iowa Legislature and Continued Work for 2020

Nov 26, 2019

As 2019 comes to an end, it gives us an opportunity reflect on our public policy successes in the past year and evaluate what we want to work on in 2020.

Successes in 2019
One significant achievement from the 2019 Iowa legislative session was funding for Future Ready Iowa initiatives to help grow Iowa's workforce. A new appropriation for the Employer Innovation Fund will jumpstart a public-private partnership to encourage employers, educators, economic developers, chambers of commerce and other nonprofit organizations to enhance scholarship and grant programs to strengthen the regional workforce talent pipeline. Our region has already reaped the benefits from the legislation, as together with Kirkwood Community College and ICR Iowa, the Economic Alliance was awarded a matching grant by the state of Iowa to fund the Expanding Credentials through Pathways program that will target high school students, with 25% representing marginalized and diverse populations, interested in high demand jobs.

In 2019, we supported the bipartisan passage of the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) penny extension which will continue to provide dedicated funds for our school’s infrastructure needs. We also saw significant achievements with funding for Brownfield/Grayfield redevelopment tax credit and the High Quality Jobs program, both of which are used by many Economic Alliance members. We supported the Iowa Hemp Act that the governor signed into law because it has the potential to lead to the opening of new markets for our farmers and businesses. Yet, work remains next session on the hemp industry, protecting tax incentives and other issues important to the growth of our communities.

What We’ll Work on in 2020
In the 2020 session we will work to clarify state regulations on the hemp industry and hemp-derived products and protect key economic development incentives that demonstrate a positive return on investment for our communities. We will also continue to work to increase funding for the Angel Investor Tax Credit that will encourage entrepreneurship and spur economic growth for our communities. We’ll support funding our public school at amounts that reflect our state’s economic growth. Additionally, we'll advocate for policies that prepare more people to enter the workforce, as well as policies that attract a workforce.

Unveiling 2020 Priorities at Regional Legislative Launch on December 12
To hear more about our public policy focus for 2020, Economic Alliance members are invited to attend the second annual Regional Legislative Launch on December 12 when, together with the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce we will unveil our 2020 state and federal legislative priorities. If you can’t make it to the event, read the priorities on our website after December 12 at

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