Branstad backs tax cuts, new plans to create jobs - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Branstad backs tax cuts, new plans to create jobs

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

Gov. Terry Branstad is encouraging lawmakers to support his plan to lower business property taxes and is adding proposals to spend $25 million annually to encourage job creation and let employees invest in their companies.

In his annual Condition of the State speech, Branstad on Tuesday told legislators his proposals would spur the state's slow-growing economy.

Branstad wants to cut commercial property taxes by 40% over eight years. He's coupled the proposal with state aid to local governments and a cap on local government spending increases.

Branstad also has proposed a $25 million High Quality Jobs Program, changing a tax credit into a direct subsidy for businesses that create jobs.

And Branstad called for a new employee stock option plan that would let workers buy in to a business.

Governor Branstad made a ten point plan to help Iowa's education system. He says Iowa students need to compete globally and deserve a world class education.

Under the governor's preliminary plan for education, teachers and students would be held to higher standards.

It starts with being selective on who becomes a teacher. Each college grad must have a "B" average to get into Iowa's teacher's prep-programs.

For students they would require children to be fully literate by third grade, end-of-course tests for core subjects will tell if high school students are ready to graduate, and all high school juniors will take a college entrance exam paid by the state.

"Our children's future depends on whether they learn the knowledge and life-skills needed to succeed in a global economy and be well-informed, good citizens for the 21st century," said Gov. Branstad.

The governor also says students need more opportunities to engage in internships, especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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