Democratic lawmakers outlined their new plan today called Putting Iowans First. The plan was developed by lawmakers to keep the 2018 session focused on improving the lives of everyday Iowans with better-paying jobs, revitalized small towns and rural communities, the best education in the country and a great quality of life.
Democratic State Senators Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids and Pam Jochum of Dubuque will be touring job training programs and meeting with students at Northeast Iowa Community College from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, November 1, at the Peosta campus.
North Iowa has opportunities for real growth. To bring higher wage jobs to our communities, we should focus on small business development, entrepreneurship and educational opportunity. The Legislature has to invest more in long-range economic development, measures that ensure future growth and prosperity across all of Iowa.
Building on bipartisan work by the Legislature over the past several years, the Future Ready Iowa Alliance lays out a plan to enhance the skills of Iowa workers. Senate Democrats are focused on initiatives to help Iowans get the education and training they need to qualify for increasingly technical jobs, especially in our small towns and rural areas.
“The opportunities at Western Iowa Tech are key to building a stronger Iowa economy, one with more higher skilled, higher paying jobs,” said Senator Hogg. “Iowa’s shortage of skilled workers can be fixed by making Western Iowa Tech’s opportunities more available and more affordable for more Iowans.”
“Our part of Iowa has opportunities for real growth. We need to work together to promote small business development, entrepreneurship, and educational opportunities. That’s how we will increase the number of higher wage jobs in our community,” said Hart, a farmer and former teacher.
“Rural Iowans need higher wages. Rural businesses need skilled workers and more customers,” said Kinney, a farmer and retired deputy sheriff. “At the Sigourney Library meeting, I’ll be listening for ideas that will help create jobs and economic prosperity across our state.
“Yesterday Governor Kim Reynolds made the astoundingly false claim that she has managed the state budget ‘without cuts to education.’ That’s a real whopper! The truth is that the mid-year budget cuts (Senate File 130) sliced a total of $31.5 million from education. The $4.5 million cut from the Iowa Department of Education was just the beginning.”
Now, instead of ending huge giveaways to out-of-state corporations, Governor Reynolds and legislative Republicans hope a steep, multi-year ‘tuition tax’ on Iowa students will balance Iowa’s busted state budget.
State Senator Rita Hart of Wheatland highlighted several bipartisan ways to reinvest in rural Iowa and small towns in a letter to Governor Kim Reynolds on August 1. Hart, former chair of the Iowa Senate’s Economic Growth Committee, indicated her strong desire to focus on workforce training.