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Senate takes another step to tackle tough economy

March 16, 2009
By Sen. Tom Rielly, D-Oskaloosa

The overriding issue of the 2009 session is responding to the deepening national recession and its impact on middle-class Iowa families.

More Iowa families are losing jobs they depend on. Iowa small businesses are seeing sales drop. And homeowners are facing foreclosure.

Our job in the Legislature is to help Iowans through these tough times, to optimistically build toward a prosperous future, and to keep the commitments we've made on economic growth, health care, education, energy independence and disaster recovery.

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Sen. Rielly

This week, the Senate approved a $175 million bonding plan that will:

Create good-paying jobs for workers in the construction industry and related businesses who will expand or improve Iowa's prisons, community-based correction facilities, the Iowa Veterans Home and other state-owned buildings.

Ensure the safety of our communities and neighborhoods by expanding and fixing up our prisons and community-based corrections facilities.

Protect the safety of Iowans in their workplaces.

Ensure that the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown becomes a state-of-the-art facility for Iowans who have honorably served our country in the armed services.

The evidence is clear. These stimulus initiatives will help our state recover sooner from the national recession. It is projected that this stimulus bill will create nearly 5,000 jobs across Iowa.

Every $1 million invested in infrastructure supports 28.5 full-time, year-round-equivalent jobs, according to a recent study by the National Association of Industrial & Office Properties. Plus, during the construction phase, new projects employ workers who spend their paychecks in the local economy.

This is a legislative column by Senator Tom Rielly, representing Iowa, Poweshiek, and Keokuk counties, and portions of Mahaska and Tama counties.

To contact Senator Rielly during the week, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. On weekends he can be reached at home at 641-673-0359. E-mail him at

Senator Tom Rielly is chair of the Transportation Committee. He also serves on the Agriculture, Commerce, Economic Growth, Environment & Energy Independence, and Local Government committees.



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