Iowa Governor Terry Branstad said the state has more work to do on education reform and property tax relief for its citizens.
He made those statements during his Condition of the State address delivered Tuesday morning, January 15, 2013 in Des Moines.
Branstad applauded the state’s balanced budget as an example of good work done by the legislature, saying “Iowa is currently in the best financial position in our state’s long and proud history.”
He was also positive about efforts in Iowa to market the state and to create new jobs. Branstad said his administration has landed more than $5.3 billion in capital investments in Iowa, and that unemployment has dropped to 4.9%, “the lowest it has been in over four years.”
Following up on his announcement the day prior to his address, Branstad again touted his plan for education reform in Iowa.
“The quality of our children’s education impacts everything we do to improve our state. Let’s focus on our future, and theirs,” Branstad said.
Branstad said he plans to continue his drive to make Iowa the healthiest state in the country by offering support to doctors with millions of dollars to support medical residency programs and to expand the Rural Physician Loan Repayment Program. Branstad also wants the legislature to pass a law that caps non-economic damages in medical lawsuits, as well as a law that would require medical experts to review facts when medical lawsuits are filed.
His proposed property tax reforms include reducing commercial and industrial property tax values by 20% over four years and putting a stop to the state’s school aid formula triggering automatic local property tax increases.