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Bipartisan legislative efforts receive high marks for Iowa

September 4, 2010
By State Sen. Tom Rielly D-Oskaloosa
CNBC recently released its annual “Top States for Doing Business” report, and once again, Iowa makes the top 10. Our state placed sixth overall, the highest Midwest ranking.

Iowa placed No. 1 in the “cost of doing business” category, which takes into account individual income and property taxes, business taxes, gas tax and utility costs, as well as state workers’ compensation insurance costs and rental costs for office space.

Iowa also scored well for quality of life, economy, education, business friendliness and cost of living. For more on the study, go to

A second new report is a testament to the sound budgeting we’ve practiced here in Iowa. According to Moody’s Investors Service, our state has the second lowest state debt per capita in the nation.

Despite recent long-term investments we’ve made to respond to natural disasters and to rebuild the economy, our state has just $73 of state debt for each Iowan. Only Nebraska is lower with a per person debt of $15.

Most states are far deeper in debt. In fact, the median per capita share of state government debt nationwide is $936, almost 13 times as much as Iowa. Connecticut has the highest debt per capita at $4,859.

Fact sheets on job creation efforts available.

During the 2010 session, the Legislature approved $30 million for a new Disaster Prevention Smart Planning Local Grant Program.

Grants will be awarded to construction projects that prevent future disasters and use smart planning techniques, such as sustainable designs for low-impact development. This includes replacement or reconstruction of local public buildings to mitigate damages from future flooding and other disasters.

Applications for these grant funds were due August 2 and are currently being reviewed. See all the projects submitted, including those from our area, at

Another state Web site provides updated county by county summaries of state job creation and disaster recovery projects that have already been funded. Visit

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

Article Photos

State Sen. Tom Rielly



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