(Des Moines) — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds delivered her “Condition of the State” address Tuesday evening before the joint session of the Iowa state legislature. The governor spoke for nearly 45 minutes and lawmakers applauded 18 times during her address. She began by recalling the many challenges Iowa has endured during 2020, including the pandemic, derecho
storm, drought, and civil unrest. Reynolds says Iowa has had no shortage of character, but she says the condition of the state has never been stronger.
Reynolds credited conservative budgeting for leaving the state in a healthy financial position, despite all the many challenges.
The first request by the governor was to ask the legislature to allocate $450 million dollars over the next few years to expand broadband internet to reach every community of Iowa and its rural regions.
Reynolds, then rolled out her plan to expand broadband internet throughout the state.
The Iowa governor touched on the need to expand child care services and asked the legislature to commit $3 million towards assisting communities with developing childcare facilities. She also wants to use $25 million dollars in development block grants to further promote childcare start-ups. She also advocated the need for additional affordable housing and challenged the
legislature to fund additional programs that have helped communities construct housing through tax savings incentives. Governor Reynolds spent a considerable amount of her speech focusing on education issues. The governor commended both the Hinton Community School and West Sioux Schools for being
innovative under difficult circumstances. She asked the legislature to immediately pass a bill that would allow parents the choice if they want their children to attend “in-person” classes.
In addition, Reynolds also advocated the need for “school choice.”
Reynolds was quick to point out that Iowa public schools are also important to the educational development of our students.
The governor also focused attention on law enforcement and the nation’s civil unrest during her address.
She says our law enforcement officers need our respect and support.
Reynolds says she will introduce a bill that will protect law enforcement officers and continue the march against racial injustice.
The governor concluded her address by discussing the state’s mental health program, and briefly talking about the rate of vaccinations against the COVID-19 virus. Reynolds informed the state legislature that by January 25th, all of the state’s long-term care nursing residents and staff will have received their vaccination shots.
(photo contributed. Audio courtesy of Iowa Public Television.)