Mark Reinig, CEcD, PDI President
Mark Reinig, CEcD
We sometimes hear from members that wish PDI could be more proactive on policies rather than always having to play defense to protect programs and policies at the Iowa State Capitol. While PDI certainly has had to play lots of defense over the past few decades to defend TIF, department funding and several other priorities. It is important to remember that PDI members’ best ideas do often become law. Many times PDI has had other entities bring forward and take the lead in developing and promoting the legislation. Here are a couple of recent successes, which can be attributed to the ideas put forth by PDI members.
Shovel Ready Certifications — This idea was brought up by PDI members during meetings to draft a legislative agenda. IEDA immediately took notice and began to research how to structure a program around shovel ready sites and certification. Within a short period of time, IEDA had a proposal together that they took to legislators who ended up passing legislation enacting Iowa’s Certified Site Program.
Workforce Housing — While many PDI members loved the Enterprise Zone program, the expiration of the program was looming. Without a clear legislative path to getting the program reauthorized the program was in danger of being eliminated. Workforce housing was (and is) clearly one of the top priorities for PDI members and many ideas were forwarded to IEDA. IEDA used your ideas to formulate the current program, and was able to add a new rural component to the program just last session based on feedback they were hearing from PDI members. As the Workforce Housing Program continues, you can be assured that IEDA will continue to look to PDI for advice about the size, scope and operation of the program.
The Professional Developers of Iowa is working hard to be on top of legislative issues. Look for additional opportunities for education and input prior to the 2018 legislative session as PDI continues to be the go to economic development organization in the state of Iowa.
CEcD, PDI President