Governor Tom Vilsack now says Iowa Legislators must act soon in a special session, one way or another, to re-establish the state’s major economic development program, the “Iowa Values Fund.” The Fund was thrown in limbo by a Supreme Court ruling in June, and Vilsack originally said he might have the authority to operate the program on his own. Today, Vilsack changed his position. Vilsack says he’s hoping he and republican legislative leaders can come up with a special session solution to put the fund back in business, handing out money to more businesses. If that’s not possible, he says lawmakers should still meet in special session and appropriate enough money for the Department of Economic Development to honor the “Iowa Values Fund” awards that have already been made. Vilsack says he’s been taking steps to take of things administratively, but lawmakers have been threatening to sue him for acting outside of his authority. Vilsack says if that’s the score, then legislators need to come into special session to at least provide enough money to cover already-announced “Values Fund” awards. Vilsack says he’s fighting for the 11,000 jobs state officials say will be created as a result of the state awards that have been handed out over the past 12 months, several of which were announced but a check hadn’t been cut by the state before the Supreme Court ruling in June.
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