Iowa’s Governor has been traveling the state the past two days, touting the year-old state economic development program that no longer exists. Governor Tom Vilsack and the director of Iowa’s Department of Economic Development stopped in Mason City today as part of what the Governor’s office calls its “Jobs, Growth, and Opportunity” tour. D-E-D director Michael Blouin says the tour was in the works before the Iowa Supreme Court nullified the law on which the new “Iowa Values” state economic development fund is based. Blouin says the tour was meant to be a backdrop for issuing a “report card” on the first year of the Iowa Values Fund, and when the Supreme Court issued its opinion, they decided to go ahead with the statewide P-R campaign. Blouin says many believed the economic development program would work, but even the believers are surprised at the level of success.Vilsack and Blouin toured Golden Grain Energy, an ethanol plant in Mason City, which this week was granted a 400-thousand dollar award from the Values Fund. Vilsack says he’s very pleased and impressed with the progress on the construction of the facility. Vilsack says many of the reasons the ethanol facility is being built tie into the basic concepts behind the values fund. Vilsack says, like many other of the Values Fund projects, not only will the farmers or investors be the ones impacted by facilities like Golden Grain. Vilsack says he’s still trying to work with republican legislators to solve the issue of the Values Fund bill which was struck down by the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision last week. Vilsack says he’ll not call legislators back into a special session without a deal worked out beforehand. Vilsack traveled in eastern Iowa yesterday on his tour to tout the Values Fund, and Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson traveled in western Iowa, making a stop in Le Mars today.
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