Nothing is likely to derail Iowa’s state legislature this session in Des Moines.
Governor Kim Reynolds took the oath of office more than a week ago after being elected to the job for the first time.
She once again enjoys Republican majorities in both the House and Senate.
Reynolds has her ideas of what she wants to see lawmakers deliver.
It’s not clear whether the Republican leadership there will follow her recommendations as closely as she would like.
Reynolds highlighted eight priorities during her condition of the state address.
She wants to do more for mental health, create a children’s mental health system, pass a constitutional amendment to restore voting rights for felons after they do their time, protect companies from liability if they hire people with a criminal background $20 million for her workforce readiness initiative, another $20 million over two years to expand broadband internet, adopt a second amendment to give crime victims constitutional rights and she proposes $89.5 million in new money for public schools.
Some of these are easier to accomplish than others.
Two Iowa state representatives who have a say in that joined 4 The Record for a conversation: Democrat Cindy Winckler of Davenport and Republican Norlin Mommsen of DeWitt.
The argument could be made Reynolds put out olive branches for bipartisanship.
We’ll get to education in a moment, but what about the other points?
Winckler and Mommsen weighed in on how much of these they think can get done this session and what they like or don’t like.
Money for schools
Reynolds wants $89.5 million for primary education.
That’s significantly more than the $32 million increase approved last year.
Reynolds’ proposal comes out to a 2.3 percent hike.
That’s not the magic four percent or more Democrats dream of.
This is one area where Republican lawmakers have fallen short of what Governor Branstad and Governor Reynolds have asked for in recent years.
Winckler and Mommsen share what they expect. If it’s not more money, what can be done to improve Iowa’s education system that has fallen in national rankings?
Watch the entire conversation in the video above.
Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.