Broadband Expansion: Slow and unreliable internet connections often plague rural Iowa. This makes it harder for communities to attract new businesses and for existing businesses to grow and expand. The internet has also made it easier than ever for individuals to telecommute, but slow speeds often make that impossible. To bring faster and reliable internet service to rural Iowa, House Republicans created a grant program to incentivize and accelerate the installation of broadband in underserved parts of the state. This will ensure that businesses are able to operate efficiently and provide many workers a greater opportunity to work from home.
Workforce Housing: One of the biggest barriers to growing rural Iowa is a lack of housing. If communities aren’t able to house potential residents, employers won’t have the workforce they need to fill open positions or grow. To address this need, House Republicans expanded a workforce housing incentive program to encourage and spur development in Iowa’s rural communities. This will help add new affordable housing and provide opportunities for small communities to attract new residents.
Rural School Support: Schools in rural Iowa often face higher transportation costs simply due to the geographic size of their districts. This results in less funding making its way to the classroom, a detriment to Iowa’s students. Over the last two years, House Republicans have worked hard to provide additional transportation resources to rural schools to help ease that burden and ensure that more funding is being used to benefit students. This funding stream is now a permanent piece of the school finance picture. Additionally, the extension of SAVE will provide rural districts with critical funding to build new school buildings and keep their communities vibrant.
Rural Health Care: Access to affordable health care was one of the biggest issues that was discussed during last year’s elections. In Iowa, rural communities face a shortage of health care services and providers compared to their urban counterparts. In order to ensure access to health care in all corners of the state, House Republicans worked to secure additional funding for Iowa’s 82 rural hospitals. These hospitals provide 24/7 access to care and are a major economic driver in Iowa’s rural communities.