Governor Tom Vilsack has asked his new Economic Development director to come up with new strategies for helping Iowa grow, and the director’s getting advice from legislators, too. House Speaker-elect Christopher Rants of Sioux City says he hopes new D.E.D. director Michael Blouin is on a plane to Hartford, Connecticut soon to convince the insurance companies there that Iowa is a much better place to do business. Rants says the state needs a “strong marketing arm.” Rants says Iowa needs to move away from the idea that economic development is giving out state grants. He’s hoping for a shift toward regulatory reform and tax law changes that’ll make the state a more attractive place for businesses. Blouin, who has been the leader of the Cedar Rapids and Des Moines Chambers of Commerce, said last week that he serves at the pleasure of the Governor and will advocate the tax law changes Tom Vilsack proposes.
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