(DES MOINES) -- Iowa House Republicans have released two bills designed to spur economic development in rural Iowa. 

House Study Bill 715 appropriates $300,000 to the Iowa Economic Development Authority for certification costs of certified sites in rural Iowa. This money must be spent on what Iowa House Republicans have coined "Freedom Sites," which must be in counties with a population of less than 50,000. This money can be used on two certified sites per congressional district each year, up to $30,000 each. 

House Ways and Means chairman Representative Bobby Kaufmann (R-Wilton) helped craft this legislation. 

"This bill will help unlock the potential of rural Iowa," said Kaufmann. "House Republicans want to make sure that we're making economic development a priority everywhere in this state, not just near the big cities. This investment in our certified sites program builds on last year's MEGA sites legislation to ensure we are boosting up and building brighter futures for rural Iowa."

House Study Bill 722 creates a new rural development tax credit. This bill will encourage investment into new or expanding businesses in Iowa's 88 smallest counties.  It allows up to $27 million in tax credits for investors in projects that will reap at least $45 million in economic activity. 

Representative Derek Wulf (R-Hudson) is the bill manager for HSB 722.

"This bill is a game-changer for rural Iowa," Wulf said. "By incentivizing investors to put their money into projects in rural Iowa, we can create more jobs, lift up local economies, and build back vibrant communities."

HSB 715 is currently in the Appropriations committee. HSB 722 is in the Ways and Means committee.

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