Governor Branstad talks with KWWL about 2012 Legislative Session - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Governor Branstad talks with KWWL about 2012 Legislative Session

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Governor Terry Branstad is taking his Condition of the State to the streets.

This week, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds set out on a tour of Iowa, aiming to meet with average citizens and get feedback on goals for the 2012 legislative session.

Branstad and Reynolds sat down with KWWL Friday to talk about their plans for the 2012 legislative session. The governor has two clear initiatives for lawmakers to tackle -- create jobs, and reform education...with a primary focus on property tax reform.

"We have a major program to reduce commercial property tax and control property tax at all levels, including residential and agriculture," Branstad said.

Reynolds said education needs to be a top priority. She believes lawmakers will have the time this year to put a real solution in place, rather than a short term fix.

"It's a long term investment. First of all, it's not going to happen tomorrow, where we're at right now didn't just happen. It's going to take a decade to put in place some of the initiatives that we want to. But we want to make sure it goes beyond this administration, the next administration, and the next," said Reynolds.

Days after the Governor's Condition of the State, another issue is making headlines this week: a discrimination lawsuit filed by a state employee -- who says his sexual orientation played a role in a pay cut.

"When you're the governor, you're the target of all kinds of accusations," Branstad said. "I've got a thick skin. I've always stayed focused on the things that are important and I'm very confident. I know I've always treated everyone with respect and dignity. We didn't do anything wrong, I think things will work out fine and I'm not concerned about it."

The governor said, that aside, the first few days of the session are starting off well. Both parties seem to have the same goal, just different means of getting there.

"I think both parties, both houses of the legislature concur that that very limited focused agenda makes sense, and I'm very optimistic that we can work out our differences and have a very successful session -- one that's a lot shorter than last year," said Branstad.

Branstad and Reynolds will continue their Condition of the State tour next week -- with stops in Bettendorf and Mason City.

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