Readers Respond

Friday, February 20, 2009

Use gaming funds to rebuild Iowa


/ Iowa Lt. Governor

On January 12th, the 83rd General Assembly returned to Des Moines to begin the annual Legislative Session. I want to take this opportunity to continue the Culver/Judge Administration's dialogue with Iowans about what's happening in their capitol; to keep all of you informed about the policies and decisions that will impact our state's future; and most importantly, ask for your continued involvement in helping to address the issues we'll face together this year.

So, lets get started.

Earlier, Iowans rang in the New Year as they always do - joining with friends or family to express hope for the coming year.

But this year's celebrations had a markedly different tone. They were much more serious and somber, because with recovery efforts continuing after last year's natural disasters, and with our nation facing the worst economic recession since the great depression, Iowans are nervous about the future.

This crisis on two fronts is affecting countless people across the state, and we must act now to protect our economic future, help rebuild our communities, and create new jobs for Iowans.

This is why Governor Culver and I are proposing the creation of the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Authority.

The $700 million plan calls for using existing gaming revenues to fund thousands of infrastructure projects all across our state.

Our plan means more than just roads and bridges - we are talking about rails, trails, water and sewer treatment facilities, public buildings, schools, telecommunications, and even the electrical grid.

Though the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure program is a long-term plan, it has immediate benefits in the area of job creation. The plan will put tens of thousands of Iowans to work. In fact, just in highway funding alone, for every $100 million in investment, we can create 4400 jobs. There are "shovel ready" projects, in every part of the state. This means there are people ready and willing to work - if we give them the tools to do so.

Each job we create means the worker's salary will be invested right back into our communities, helping to keep small businesses open and our cities vibrant.

There's no time to waste. Let us work together to create jobs, rebuild our state, and give everyone a brighter future.

Thanks for giving my letter a read, and I will report back in a couple weeks about the exciting work being done to move our state forward.