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Iowa establishes private-public economic partnership, goal is 200,000 jobs in five years

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will sign into law Monday a bill establishing the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress, which his administration is calling “a signature piece of Gov. Branstad’s job creation efforts.”

It replaces the Iowa Department of Economic Development, and mixes the public and private sectors for the purpose of stimulating job growth throughout the state.

Branstad has said he will create 200,000 new jobs within five years.

“This is a major achievement, and one that will allow us to better compete in a 21st Century economy through a mix of public and private initiatives,” Branstad’s spokesman, Tim Albrecht, said. “Unfortunately, another vital tool for job creation is a reduction in commercial and industrial property taxes.”

Property tax reform, which Branstad considered among his highest priorities this session, did not happen by the time the gavel fell June 30. Both the Governor and lawmakers have vowed to tackle the issue again come January.

“Gov. Branstad intends to revisit this issue again next year, and believes doing nothing is unacceptable,” Albrecht said.

The bill creating the Iowa Partnership of Economic Progress — House File 590 — comes just days after Whirlpool Corp. in Amana announced it was eliminating 315 jobs. The company spent $180,000 lobbying the federal government during the first quarter of 2011, down from the $280,000 it spent during the same period in 2010.

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