Gov. Branstad: We have a decade of hard work ahead

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Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says Iowa faces serious budget challenges and unacceptably high levels of unemployment and that he has plans to address those problems.

His remarks came during the Condition of the State address delivered to the Iowa General Assembly Tuesday morning, January 10, 2012.

Gov. Branstad said having the best school system in the U.S. and implementing his jobs and careers plan of action are his major priorities for the coming legislative session.

He said Iowa completes globally, not just nationally, to attract new jobs, careers, economic development and investment.

Gov. Branstad plans to submit a revised plan to reduce commercial and industrial property taxes by 40% over the next eight years.  His jobs and careers plan of action also includes support for the new Iowa Economic Development Authority and legislation that encourages suppliers to move their businesses to Iowa.  He says the final point in his plan would help keep businesses in Iowa by encourages the formation of employee stock option plans to encourage Iowa business owners who are retiring to sell their companies to their employees.

Gov Branstad reiterated his belief that teachers be required themselves to have achieved a “B” or better grade point average in college.  He wants principals to delegate some responsibilities so they can spend more time coaching teachers.

Other suggestions from the governor included kindergarten readiness testing, making sure children can read by the end of third grade and having the state pay for high school juniors to take a college entrance exam.

Read the full text of the 2012 Condition of the State address – click here.