Gov. Kim Reynolds, running for re-election, waves to the crowd during her segment of the "Save America" rally.

Gov. Kim Reynolds discussed her key issues for Iowa on Tuesday during her Condition of the State Address. She praised the success of Iowans and talked about topics such as tax reform, the work force and Iowa's education. Reynolds is up for re-election this year. Her potential opponents include Paul Dahl and Deidre DeJear.

Reynolds spoke about the independence of Iowans and the need to reduce taxes. She proposed a bill to eliminate Iowa’s tax bracket system in favor of a flat tax rate of 4 percent. 

“Iowans understand that we in this building don’t fund anything they do and right now they’re paying too much,” said Reynolds.

Iowa’s current system that includes a tax bracket is called a progressive system. This means that the tax rate increases as the taxable amount increases. Reynolds said that the progressive system is complex and the flat rate is fair.

Kelly Shaw, an associate teacher professor of political science at Iowa State, said that the argument for a progressive system is that those who make more can afford to pay more proportionally.

“The argument from an equity standpoint is that a millionaire can much more afford to pay four percent than someone making $10,000 can afford paying four percent,” said Shaw.  

The bill would also eliminate the taxation of retirement income.

“For the vast majority of retired Iowans, those who rely on their 401k, IRA or pension, that's not just a tax cut, it's a full income tax repeal,” said Reynolds. 

Reynolds also spent time talking about employment. She said that she will make an effort to get Iowans back to work.

“There are many cases for the worker shortage,”  Reynolds said. “But we need to recognize in some cases it's because the government has taken away the need or desire to work.” 

Reynolds intends to introduce a bill that lowers unemployment benefits to 16 weeks and endures that Iowans collecting unemployment can’t turn down suitable jobs.

 “When work begins to seem optional rather than fundamental then society begins to decay,” said Reynolds.

Another key topic for Reynolds was education. She said that the work of teachers is essential and appreciated. Reynold also mentioned that public education accounts for 5 percent of Iowa's funding but said it isn’t in the interest of all Iowans.

“For most Iowa families, that’s money well spent,” Reynolds said. “But for some families the school district doesn't fit their values or fit the needs of their child and sadly in some cases school administrators are ignoring the problem or just not listening. Some even believe that it's a school's responsibility to not just teach kids to learn but to control what they learn, to push their worldview." 

Reynolds said that parents are no longer in the dark and that parents have been finding explicit and vulgar material in books available at their children’s school. She said that parents matter and that she would make sure that parents stay in charge of their child’s education. 

“It starts with full transparency,” said Reynolds, “All schools should be required to publish what they’re teaching. There's no reason to hide it, at least no good reason.” 

She said that parents should know what their kids have access to and should have a timely process to address their concerns. 

Reynolds talked about parents' right to choose their child’s school regardless of the material being taught. She said she will be introducing legislation that allows middle to low-income Iowans to receive funds to transfer to private schools. 

Shaw said legislation such as this is not common practice and funding students who transfer could negatively impact public schools.

“Iowa’s funding for education is based on per capita,” Shaw said. “Every head in a classroom is counted and is worth a certain amount of money in state funding.”

He said that when parents decide to move their child to a different school, the first school no longer receives that funding. When enough parents remove their students, public schools are negatively affected.

“When a school goes down in per capita, there are certain operating costs,” Shaw said. "And essentially you are asking those schools to do the same amount with less.”

Reynolds addressed broadband and renewable energy. She said that Iowa has been a leader in renewable energy and should continue to invest in it but also continue to invest in fossil fuels.

She also stressed the need to expand broadband service to rural parts of Iowa. Shaw said these issues are ones that could be agreed upon by Democrats and Republicans.

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