A key supporter of the state’s new economic development fund says concerns about the financing are sapping the program’s energy. Republican Representative Clarence Hoffman of Charter Oak helped create the Iowa Values fund and he now sits on the board that’s doling out the money. The board has handed out 20-million dollars since July, and Hoffman’s worried about running out of money. Hoffman says he’s not sure there’s a commitment for a longterm state revenue stream to finance the seven-year, 500-million dollar program. To date, the legislature has only approved two year’s worth of financing for the Iowa Values fund — a total of 120-million. Hoffman would like lawmakers to come up with more money soon, but he worries things might unravel in 2004 because it’s an election year. Hoffman says it might be wise to wait ’til 2005 to resolve the issue of where the money comes from to finance the fund. Willard Jenkins of Waterloo, another state Representative involved in creating the fund, says the fund’s managers will probably have to “white knuckle it” ’til 2005 when political tensions aren’t as great. More than 30 businesses have submitted requests for the new state economic development grants.
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