The Iowa House has endorsed the idea of major state investment in large-scale cultural and recreation projects. Representative Russell Teig, a republican from Jewell, says the state needs to do something to attract new residents.The state would back bonds, raising about 200-million dollars for investment in projects around the state. Representative Dick Myers, a democrat from Iowa City, supported the bill. He says he doesn’t have any illusions about how many people the move will bring in. He says though, the state has to do something to try and bring people in.Representative Mike Cormack, a republican from Fort Dodge, said the big projects envisioned — like a sports arena or a rainforest — would improve the quality of life here.Representative Dave Millage, a republican from Bettendorf, said he was ashamed his republican party was launching the state deep into debt. He says “this is all being driven because Des Moines wants a new arena.” He says Des Moines deserves a new arena, but needs to pay for it themselves.Representative Dennis Parmenter, a democrat from Cambridge, was a “no” vote. He says young people are leaving the state because there’s a lack of good paying jobs. He says the legislature needs to address that problem.Representative Sandra Greiner, a republican from Keota, said rural Iowa gets nothing from the bill. She said says rural Iowans “once again have to face the realization that in the general assembly, they are at the bottom of the food chain.”Fifty million dollars is set aside for schools which find it difficult to raise local property taxes to repair crumbling buildings. The Senate endorsed the bill early Tuesday morning, but the House made minor changes last night, so Senators will review the issue again.
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