Town Hall #11 – January 13, 2021

Gov. Reynolds’ Condition of the State Address

Discussion & Analysis

What will be the Governor’s priorities for the legislative session?

These were the 10 major sections of the address:

Universal broadband: Every part of Iowa will have affordable, high-speed broadband by 2025. ” We’ll get there by committing $450 million over that time period.”

Childcare: “…so I’m allocating $3 million to jump-start these public-private partnerships. I’m also using $25 million of childcare development block grants to further promote childcare startups.”

Continue “Future Ready Iowa” program: Strengthen on-the-job training & reskilling; licensing reform; and integration of work-based learning into the K-12 curriculum.

Affordable housing: “… we have a growing mismatch between where job opportunities are thriving and where people can find affordable places to live. We must expand public-private initiatives.”

State finances: “… unlike many states we’re starting from a good financial position. We aren’t looking at tough budget cuts and we’re certainly not looking at raising taxes. If anything, we need to continue the conversation about cutting taxes.”

High Quality Education: “…so tonight, I am asking the legislature to immediately send a bill to my desk that gives parents the choice to send their child back to school full time. School choice shouldn’t be limited to those who have the financial means or are lucky to live in a district that’s confident enough to allow open enrollment. … making open enrollment available in all districts and by allowing our communities more flexibility to create public charter schools. … we should create education savings accounts for students who are trapped in a failing schools.”

Law enforcement & racial justice: “… there will be no talk of defunding the police here. …I’ll be introducing a bill that protects law enforcement and continues our march toward racial justice. The bill will make clear that if you riot or attack our men and women in uniform, you will be punished. The bill will also ban racial profiling and other forms of disparate treatment.”

Healthcare collaborations & innovation: “In my budget, I’m proposing $1 million to encourage hospitals and clinics to start what’s called a Center of Excellence. It’s a program that aligns rural physicians with specialists, creating regional hubs that provide highly-skilled care closer to where patients and their primary-care providers live.

Continued focus on mental health: “In the last three years, we have reformed our mental health system and we’re continuing to make it better. I’m proposing to increase mental health funding by $15 million this year, and another $15 million next year, to fully fund those reform efforts.”