Roast and Ride

Lt. Gov of Iowa Kim Reynolds talks to a crowd as part of the second annual Roast and Ride at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Reynolds spoke about senator Joni Ernst's history in Iowa, and her success in Washington as a senator. 

Gov. Kim Reynolds addressed a joint session of the House and Senate Tuesday in her first Condition of the State address as governor on the second day of the 2018 legislative session.

Reynolds opened the address with a call to the women of Iowa.

"I hope that I can be an inspiration...to little girls who dare to dream: in Iowa, if you're willing to work for it, those dreams can come true," Reynolds said.

After discussing and commending the work that was done in 2017, Reynolds said improving water quality is what she wants to see happen first from the legislative session. The governor said that the first piece of legislation she wants the chance to sign this year is legislation focused on improving water quality.

Before continuing to the other topics where she wanted to see legislation as well, Reynolds discussed the topic of sexual harassment.

"[Sexual harassment] has been a stain in all facets of life and it must stop," Reynolds said.

Reynolds said that the issue is not a partisan one and must take effort from "each individual man and woman," and that the culture has to change.

Other topics that Reynolds emphasized include tax reform, healthcare and K-12 education funding. The governor did not discuss higher education funding.

Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, D-Ames, told the Iowa State Daily Friday that $2.5 million more in budget cuts may occur at Iowa State in this fiscal year.

Student Government President Cody West said that he wishes there would have been more mention of higher education during her address, as he feels the university is at a "turning point."

West said that by investing in higher education in Iowa State, he believes it can help retain education Iowans and encourage them to stay in the state.

"Taking money away does more collateral damage in the future than other cuts would do," West said, referencing previous budget cuts to Iowa State.

Reynolds did tout the amount of funding that has gone to K-12 education, citing the $735 million that has gone to education since 2011.

"We invested in our kids at a record level," Reynolds said.

There also will be a new initiative introduced focused on preparing K-12 students for trade school called Future Ready Iowa. This initiative has a goal that by 2025, 70 percent of Iowa workers will have the skills they need to get a job, Reynolds said.

"Education is a priority, and we will continue to back that up with real money," Reynolds said.

Reynolds also thanked Congress and President Donald Trump for the recently passed tax reform which Reynolds said will provide Iowans "relief across all brackets."

There still needs to be tax reform to Iowa's tax system however, Reynolds said. Specifically, she said she wants to see significant reduction in rates, modernization of the tax code and elimination of federal deductibility.

"This is an opportunity to free us from decisions made in Washington, D.C.," Reynolds said.

Throughout the address, Reynolds referred to the rural, small town driving factor that makes Iowa a great place and that small and big businesses will push Iowa to continue its success.

"My vision is to give the people of Iowa a place to call home that unleashes opportunity at every turn...together, the condition of our state is strong," Reynolds said.

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