Thursday, March 12, 2009

Culver Unveils New Logo for Jobs Plan

The economy is eating away jobs apparently much like the state of Iowa is eating letters right now. If this line doesn't make any sense, then look up at the new logo Governor Chet Culver's unveiled today to symbolize his new plan to get the economy moving again. If it still doesn't make sense, well, then, this lame attempt at humor was just...well, lame.

Anyway... today, the gov released his $750 million plan to create jobs and improve infrastructure. The plan has added $50 million to its price tag from when the gov pitched the idea to lawmakers in his condition of the state address. Here's the release:

DES MOINES – Governor Chet Culver today unveiled details of a $750 million plan to create jobs and invest in infrastructure throughout Iowa. Called I-JOBS: the Culver/Judge Iowa Infrastructure Investment Initiative, the plan is a 3-year investment to create jobs, strengthen the state’s economy, and rebuild several critical areas of the state’s infrastructure.

“Iowans are concerned about the economic future, and as Governor I am not going to sit by and let their concerns grow," said Governor Culver. "This $750 million investment in all of Iowa will create jobs, improve our infrastructure, strengthen our economy, and build a safer, stronger, greener, and smarter state. And we can do this without raising taxes."

The I-JOBS Initiative will address five key areas of unmet infrastructure needs across the state:

· $250 million for transportation projects, especially road and bridge safety, including $200 million for roads and bridges and $50 million to other modes of transportation
· $175 million to complete important projects already scheduled, such as improvements to the Iowa Veterans Home and our Community Colleges
· $150 million for public buildings, disaster relief, mitigation projects, housing and other flood-related infrastructure not covered by FEMA, CDBG or other sources
· $100 million for water quality and waste water improvement projects
· $75 million for local infrastructure, broadband technology, and alternative energy infrastructure

Funds for transportation projects will be distributed by the Iowa Transportation Commission.

For other I-JOBS projects, an 11-member Iowa Jobs Board will be appointed to develop rules, review applications and make grant decisions. Five members of the public will serve on the Board to provide state-wide representation. In addition, the Board will include the Directors of the Iowa Finance Authority, the Department of Economic Development, the Department of Transportation, Iowa Workforce Development, the Rebuild Iowa Office and the Office of Energy Independence. The Iowa Finance Authority will provide staff and administrative support for I-JOBS.
Projects will be selected using the following criteria:

1. How quickly a project be started and completed
2. Number and quality of jobs created by the project
3. Contribution to the lasting imprint on the State
4. Amount of federal, state and private dollars to be leveraged
5. Ability to fund depreciation costs
6. Contribution to sustainability and energy efficiency
7. Benefit to areas distressed by high unemployment
8. Geographic distribution throughout the state

If I-JOBS funds are not used within 1 year, the Iowa Jobs Board will re-allocate them. All funds must be expended within 3 years.

During today’s announcement, the Governor called on the legislature to pass this bill quickly.

“There are currently hundreds of millions of dollars in unmet infrastructure needs in every part of the state. Addressing this issue is critical to rebuilding Iowa and our economy,” Governor Culver said. “I am asking Legislative leaders, and the Members of the House and Senate, to join with me in meeting the five key areas I-JOBS will address. There is no time to waste in rebuilding Iowa and, most importantly, creating jobs.”

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