Governor-elect Terry Branstad says he’ll review his options, but likely will not award the money that’s left in the I-JOBS program if that is legally possible.
“First of all, I think most of it has already been spent,” Branstad says. “But that that hasn’t been spent, my general inclination is to say it shouldn’t be spent.”
In 2009, Governor Chet Culver and the Democratic-led legislature borrowed $875 million for I-JOBS grants which went to infrastructure projects around the state. Of that, $212 million is still sitting in the I-JOBS account, but has not yet been awarded for specific projects according to Culver’s spokesman.
Branstad, who takes office on January 14, says he has no intention of trying to reclaim any state grants that have already been awarded, but he’s going to “analyze” his options for whatever remains in the I-JOBS account.
“I want to evaluate each and every project based on its merits,” Branstad says. “I don’t think we should just be willy-nilly trying to spend money. Instead, I want to look at protecting the taxpayers’ interest in the process, but if there’s a project that’s been obligated, then we have the responsibility to fulfill it.”