2012 successes for jobs, education, economy
We’ve once again balanced the state budget without raising taxes. And we’ve approved measures that will move this state forward, create jobs, grow our economy, increase student achievement and expand educational opportunity.
The Legislature did its best work when we refused to be distracted by divisive issues and instead worked together on the top priorities of Iowans. Highlights include:
** Encouraging economic growth and job creation through targeted business incentives, university-supported business development, and funding for local Workforce Development field offices that help out-of-work Iowans find jobs and local businesses find employees.
** Expanding training to ease Iowa’s skilled worker shortage by developing and enhancing programs at our community colleges, which have a tradition of working closely with local business to meet workforce needs.
** Launching education reform that reinforces the importance of early grade literacy, increases parental involvement, establishes annual teacher performance reviews, expands student assessments, and continues funding for smaller class sizes for kids learning to read.
** Making tuition more affordable at community colleges, state universities and private colleges, as well as expanding tuition grants for returning National Guard soldiers.
** Intensifying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) efforts in K12 schools, along with expanding career-oriented engineering education.
** Jumpstarting Iowa’s solar and geothermal energy industry through targeted tax credits.
** Reforming Iowa’s mental health system to ensure all Iowans receive high-quality services regardless of where they live.
I also voted to increase support for local schools and to significantly cut commercial property taxes. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough support to make these investments that so many Iowans wanted.
Thank you to all who took the time to contact me during the session. Your ideas, suggestions and priorities are reflected in many of the bills that made it to the Governor’s desk.Posted May. 23rd, 2012 at 7:15 am by Senate Staff
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