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Quality-of-life investments boost economy, middle class

June 6, 2014
By State Senator Steve Sodders - D-State Center , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Iowa's great quality of life is bolstered by a variety of arts, culture and recreation. These opportunities make daily life more enjoyable-and they're good for our economy.

"They create jobs, attract investments, generate tax revenues, and stimulate local economies through tourism and consumer purchases," according to a report from the National Governor's Association. "In addition, because they enhance quality of life, the arts and culture are an important complement to community development, enriching local amenities and attracting young professionals to an area."

The investments the Legislature made this year will continue to ensure the attractiveness and vitality of Iowa communities by providing great things to do, see and learn. We're preserving and enhancing Iowa's cultural resources and recreation experiences through:

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State Senator Steve Sodders

Community Attraction & Tourism (CAT) Grants, which go to recreational, cultural, entertainment and educational attractions.

Community Cultural Grants, which support job creation for Iowans who contribute to the cultural vitality of our state. This funding is helping the Sac and Fox Tribe in Tama County hire a cultural conservator to develop an educational outreach program that preserves artistic traditions and practices of the only Native American tribe residing in Iowa.

Iowa Great Places, which brings together resources to help communities, regions and neighborhoods enhance what makes them unique.

Investing in the arts, cultural endeavors and historic preservation through a variety of initiatives at Iowa's Department of Cultural Affairs.

Improving the Iowa State Fair and our county fairs, which offer local fun and a celebration of our state's agricultural heritage.

Providing a record $25 million for REAP, Iowa's popular Resource Enhancement and Protection Program for our natural and cultural resources.

Taking care of Iowa's parks and natural areas to ensure they remain places of pride and outdoor activity for Iowans.

Creating a statewide trail system of rivers and lakes that is fun, safe and interesting for outdoor enthusiasts.

Recreational trails funding to establish hiking, biking, skiing, snowmobiling and horseback riding routes throughout the state.

Expanding and investing in a variety of sports and recreational opportunities, including racing, off-roading and Special Olympics.



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