Governor Chet Culver kicked off a statewide tour to tout his 750-million dollar economic stimulus plan with stops in Nevada, Fort Dodge, Mason City, and Charles City Tuesday.
Culver says the "I-Jobs" program will create jobs, strengthen the economy and address unmet infrastructure needs across the state. Republicans and some Democrats have given Culver’s idea to borrow money to pay for the plan a lukewarm reception.
Culver says he’s hoping to rally support for the proposal across the state. "Hopefully, there will be enough support for this that the people expect that we will find a way to get it done," Culver said. If lawmakers don’t buy into his plan, the Governor says he’ll be open to a bi-partisan solution.
"I am willing to work together to try to figure out our differences," Culver said. "But, I really believe that we have to take control of our own destiny. We can’t just rely on the federal government.
We appreciate some of the help we’re getting in the recovery bill and we’re going to put that to good use, but I really think it’s up to us now." Culver says much of the $750-million bonding proposal would finance projects that were already planned. The Governor defended the bonding plan saying it’s a common practice on the local level.
"We bond all the time locally," Culver said. "So, I’m asking legislators, if it’s okay to bond for a hospital expansion, road project or mall project, why can’t we do the same thing at the state level?"
Culver says of the $750-million, 250-million would be used for transportation infrastructure, 150-million would be tabbed for flood recovery and disaster preparation projects, 100-million for water quality and water improvement projects and 75-million for local infrastructure, broadband and alternative energy infrastructure.