The four authors of the so-called "Generation Iowa Bill" are into their second day of a statewide tour to promote keeping young people in Iowa.
Legislators approved the bill earlier this year which was drafted by the four lawmakers, who are all 30-years-old or younger.
Representative McKinley Bailey, a Democrat from Wester City, spoke Wednesday in his hometown about creating the Generation Iowa Commission to study ways to retain young people and recruit others.
Bailey says they had a lot of ideas about accomplishing the goals and will let the panel do its job. More than 250 applicants applied for the 15 positions on the commission. It will be made up of Iowans between the ages of 18 and 35 and Bailey says they’ll come from diverse backgrounds.
State Representative Andrew Wenthe, a Democrat from Hawkeye, also helped draft the bill. Wenthe says officials with the state Department of Economic Development want to get the panel assembled and then will invite everyone who applied, and other young professionals, to attend the commission’s first meeting, to contribute ideas on how the state could go about attracting and retaining young people.
Bailey and Wenthe are being joined on the tour by Representatives Elesha Gayman, a Democrat from Davenport, and Tyler Olson, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids. They’re visiting the communities of Oelwein and Cedar Falls today. While in Cedar Falls, one stop will be the University of Northern Iowa where a small business incubator program allows undergraduates to start a new business while in college.
Wenthe says the selection process for the Generation Iowa board is beginning to take shape. The 15 commissioners should be chosen by mid-to-late July with the first meeting tentatively in August, with the panel’s first report due in December.
Governor Culver will make the appointments to the Generation Iowa Commission.
Eight members of the Iowa House of Representatives are 30 or younger.