Governor Tom Vilsack travels to Cedar Rapids and Davenport today to unveil what he calls his “Iowa Works” economic development plan.Vilsack, a democrat who’s in the midst of a re-election campaign dogged by lagging state economy, says “we can’t wait any longer” for leaders in Washington, D-C to stimulate the economy. While not revealing all the details of his plan, Vilsack says part of his strategy will be to let local economic development officials decide which businesses get state grants. He says the more power you give local officials, the better.Vilsack says he’s learned from state programs like “Vision Iowa” that if Iowans are challenged, they’ll respond, so there will be some sort of “challenge” to Iowans in his plan. Vilsack says the “crowning jewel” of his proposal will be unveiled in Des Moines on Friday. The Governor plans to use 30-million dollars from the state’s tobacco settlement for grants to expanding businesses. He’d also take the 40-million dollars in existing economic development grants and equally divide it among the 15 community college districts in the state, ensuring no region of the state gets more than another. Vilsack holds a news conference at the Prairie Creek Power Plant in Cedar Rapids at 9 a-m this morning, then travels to Davenport where he’ll speak at the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center at two o’clock. The Governor will be in Sioux City and Council Bluffs on Thursday to unveil more details of his plan.
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