Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

January 17, 2013

The Sinclair Report

Sen. Amy Sinclair
Sinclair Press

Des Moines —  

Traveling throughout Senate District 14 in 2012, I learned a lot about the concerns of my neighbors, their families and many constituents. I listened closely as you shared your burdens of rising property taxes, returning our education system to national prominence and strengthening Iowa’s economy.
Since being sworn in Monday as a freshman State Senator, I have received numerous messages from constituents about these same topics and many more such as agriculture and various tax reforms. I am listening, and intend to be your voice in the Iowa Senate.
It has been an exciting week as the 2013 Legislative Session kicked off Monday.  Discussions are underway outlining priorities that affect all Iowans. Among those sharing their vision was Governor Terry Branstad, who delivered his annual Condition of the State address.  The good news is that our state is strong and the Governor outlined his three-point plan to help Iowa grow stronger. That plan includes: providing property tax relief, making Iowa’s education system the best in the nation and improving Iowans’ quality of life.
Governor Branstad has returned fiscal sanity to Iowa’s budgeting practices. Governor Branstad, through sound fiscal leadership, has filled Iowa’s coffers and continues to create a state budget that spends less than it takes in and protects our rainy day funds.  Like Iowa families, Iowa government has tightened its belt and will continue to live within our means. That sort of responsible leadership is good for all Iowans.
These sound budgeting practices will enable us to focus on things like restoring our education system to world class status. I am honored to play a role in how we educate our children. Serving on the Senate Education Committee and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, we will have many discussions in the coming weeks on how to reform education and raise student achievement levels. I am sure you agree; it is vital we move Iowa’s education system forward. I am committed to working through that process to give Iowa’s most valuable resource - our children - the advantage they need to compete in the ever-expanding global economy. When we restructure and enhance Iowa’s education system, we will help produce an environment in which we develop world class students and world class employees for Iowa jobs with Iowa employers.   
As the condition of our state grows stronger, Iowa is positioned to achieve greater economic success. One of the first steps in attaining that success means lowering the property tax burden across the board for all Iowans.  Iowa can boast about leading the nation in a variety of areas, but burdening residents with some of the highest property taxes in the U.S. should not one of them. I know Iowans have been feeling the property tax pinch for too long. We know we must remain vigilant in providing real tax relief that empowers hard-working Iowans. Real property tax relief will embolden businesses and provide job creation. The ripple effect will be realized for years to come.   
The next step is putting these plans in action. I will continue to work with my fellow legislators to diligently examine any and all legislation and make sure that it helps our economy grow, creates jobs and effectively educate our children. 
Upcoming events:
Friday, January 25th
10 a.m. Legislative forum, Leon Community Center
12 p.m. Legislative forum, Lakeside Convention Center, Osceola
Saturday, January 26th
8 a.m. Legislative forum, Wayne County Farm Bureau, Corydon
10 a.m. Legislative forum, Get Mugged, Chariton
I can be reached at the Capitol at 515-281-3371 or I look forward to representing you at the Statehouse.