Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Politics

January 14, 2014

Branstad delivers Condition of the State address

Des Moines —

 
Gov. Terry E. Branstad today delivers his 2014 Condition of the State Address, “Iowa is Working,” with a focused legislative agenda: A veterans jobs plan, Home Base Iowa; connecting Iowans through increased broadband access; reducing student debt by freezing tuition at Regent universities; protecting Iowa’s children through anti-bullying legislation; and increased access to apprenticeships and job training for Iowa students and workers.
 
Highlights:
 
Sound Budgeting Principles
·         Gov. Branstad’s FY15 budget spends 91% of authorized capacity, 8% below the requirement by law.
 
The Home Base Iowa Act
·         The Home Base Iowa Act would fully exempt military pensions from state income tax, putting Iowa on more equal footing with states such as Florida and Texas, and our Midwestern neighbors such as Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
·         Governor Branstad is calling on the State Board of Education to create a uniform policy granting automatic in-state tuition to veterans, their spouses, and their dependents at Iowa’s community colleges.  The Regents universities already have such a policy in place.
·         The Home Base Iowa Act will direct each of Iowa's occupational licensing boards to adopt rules allowing credit for military training and experience in the licensing process.
 
The Connect Every Iowan Act
·         The Connect Every Iowan Act contains a targeted, time-limited, and geographically-limited tax incentive to encourage build-out of ultra-high speed internet capabilities. Broadband equipment and infrastructure installed or constructed in unserved or underserved areas between the act’s effective date and December 31, 2018 would be exempt from property tax under the bill. 
·         The Connect Every Iowan Act moves toward ICN 2.0, repurposing the Iowa Communications Network to allow private providers to purchase.
 
Reducing Student Debt
·         In 2013, Gov. Branstad proposed and signed the first tuition freeze at Regent universities in 30 years.
·         This year, Gov. Branstad is calling on the Legislature to again freeze tuition at Regent universities.

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