DES MOINES –Tuesday, Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced an economic study of their bold and innovative SAVE for the Future Proposal currently making its way through the legislature. The economic study was conducted by leading economists Dr. Dermot Hayes, Dr. Cathy Kling and Dr. John Lawrence, at Iowa State University’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Development in February 2016. The study was financed by Iowa State University (ISU) as part of ongoing research efforts.
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy (INRS), a science and technology-based framework to reduce nutrients in Iowa waters, calls for a long-term source of dedicated funding. In conjunction with federal investments and private investments from landowners and third party organizations, the SAVE for the Future Proposal will generate and dedicate approximately $4.7 billion to implement the INRS. If fully funded, the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy will require labor to plant millions of acres of cover crops and build thousands of wetlands and bioreactors.
The study examined the economic costs and benefits and reads that on an annualized basis, “projected spending under this proposal would generate approximately $690 million in economic activity, 1,150 full-time direct employment positions and 2,800 total full-time positions.”
“Simply put, our SAVE for the Future proposal would mean more jobs for Iowa families as well as dedicated funding for cleaner water. This study shows the overall economic impact that long-term dedicated, and growing water quality funding can have on Iowa’s economy,” said Branstad. “I’m pleased the Iowa House has taken action and passed this bill in committee, and look forward to working with the Iowa Senate and Iowa House for full approval.”
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds added, “The hundreds of millions of dollars generated by this level of economic activity is unmatched by any proposal at the statehouse. The extent of this commitment will not only go a long ways to reduce nutrient levels in our waterways, but also create thousands of job opportunities and increased incomes for Iowa families.”
The full study can be read here.
BACKGROUND: Earlier this year, while flanked by education officials, agriculture groups and current U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds proposed extending the Secure and Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) fund for 20 years until the year 2049. Extending this fund would generate and dedicate long-term funding for both education infrastructure and water quality efforts throughout the state. It is estimated that schools in Iowa would receive an additional $20.7 billion while $4.7 billion would be dedicated to water quality efforts.