Iowa Governor Reynolds gives State of the State
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds had her State of the State address Tuesday where spoke to some of the achievements the state has accomplished and areas of work where she wanted to see change and improvements.
When US News and World Report ranked Iowa the number one state for opportunity last year, it wasn’t because we wanted it,” she said at the beginning of the speech. “It was because we earned it.” The publication ranked a variety of measures about the quality of opportunity, health care, education, economy, infrastructure, fiscal stability, crime and corrections, and natural environment. Iowa ranked first in the opportunity category. Overall, the publication ranked Iowa 12th, using three years of data that showed how various measures gauge competence and quality.
Besides Governor Reynolds being able to deliver the good news to Iowa residents that people can make great achievements in the state, she also laid out an ambitious agenda for the upcoming year.
Some of the topics and ideas Governor Reynolds is proposing is:
- A flat 4% income tax rate,
- Repealing income taxes on retirement income,
- $1,000 incentives for teachers who stay on the job during the COVID-19 pandemic,
- Requiring schools to publish what they teach and telling parents what books are in school libraries,
- providing funds for parents who want to customize their child’s education,
- capping unemployment benefits at 16 weeks and making sure those drawing the benefits take what she called suitable jobs, and
- reducing licensing requirements for professions while also offering ways for high school students to enter professions, including those in healthcare, with initial training.
One of the major proposals Reynolds revealed during the speech was the flat state income tax rate of 4%. The new rate would lower taxes on anyone with a taxable income of more than $6,972. The tax rate for earners with a taxable income of more than $78,435 would be cut by more than one-half, Governor Reynolds said.
This tax cut comes after the state is facing a nearly 1.2 billion dollar surplus.
Governor Reynolds also addressed education in the state “It starts with full transparency. All schools should be required to publish what they’re teaching. There’s no reason to hide it — at least no good reason. The same goes for the books in the library. Parents should know what their kids have access to, and they should have a timely process to address their concerns. Because when our parents are fully informed, they can make informed choices.”
The intent here is for more details about specific class discussion and reading materials that have upset conservatives. The state of Iowa publishes details about what is to be taught in private and public schools and for homeschooling. The requirements deal with academic expectations but do not address sexually explicit material or particular world views that parents with a variety of opinion want expressed.
Governor Reynolds also announced she wants to extend the state’s effort to strengthen broadband. In 2021 the state of Iowa invested 300 million dollars to strengthen broadband in rural areas of the state.
Governor Reynolds is up for re-election this year and she has announced she will be seeking another term. Iowa residents will be going to the polls on June 7th for the states Primaries.