The Iowa House and Senate approved the Iowa Jobs Bill in 2009 during the recession to help create and retain jobs in Iowa. This I-JOBS program has also been the largest disaster prevention and recovery program our state has ever seen.
The I-JOBS infrastructure bonding initiative helped fund infrastructure projects around Iowa. This initiative leveraged hundreds of millions more dollars in federal, state, local and private funding for these infrastructure projects. For instance, the $100 million designated for flood recovery on the University of Iowa campus, unlocked nearly $500 million in federal funding to repair those buildings.
It is misleading to state that the infrastructure program was a tax hike or tax burden on Iowans. It is inaccurate to state that every Iowa taxpayer is on the hook for $1,000 of debt to be paid by our taxes. It is important to note that the I-JOBS bonds are being repaid with gambling revenues. Neither the general fund nor future tax revenues are being used nor will ever have to be used, to pay off these bonds. Unless you are contributing to the gambling revenues, you are not paying for these bonds.
The second false statement that is being made about the I-JOBS funding is that this money and these projects did not create new jobs or fund enough worthwhile projects. The truth of the matter is that I-JOBS targeted funding to improve community colleges, corrections facilities, and Marshalltown's very own Iowa Veterans Home. Additionally, the funding was used to improve our local streets and bridges, many of which were in desperate need of repair.
So, the I-JOBS bill was a waste of time and money? Tell that to the thousands of hard-working Iowans who took home regular paychecks from these jobs so they could pay their mortgage and feed their families.
Lastly, the I-JOBS projects were spread throughout Iowa and these programs have been an investment in our future. The infrastructure improvements will help us be prepared and reduce the costs of future floods and disasters. Our legislators who voted to invest in Iowa and our future, we support you. Sen. Steve Sodders, thank you. We will vote for you this Nov. 6.