Branstad addresses unfinished business before transition - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Branstad addresses unfinished business before transition

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(KWWL) -

Governor Branstad met with key players in education and economy in Waverly, looking to address any challenges before his transition to U.S. Ambassador to China. 

Wartburg College President Darrel Colson, along with Superintendent of Waverly-Shell Rock Schools Ed Klamfoth were in attendance.

Klamfoth asking Branstad about how the budget will look like for the next year. 

"Honestly, it's going to be a real tight budget year," said Gov. Branstad.

Branstad commended the quality of education offered at Wartburg College. 

"The ones with the highest grade point came from your pre-med program here at Wartburg," said Branstad.

Wartburg College President Darrel Colson addressing the challenge of attracting in-state students. 

Branstad says he plans to work with private colleges like Wartburg to increase enrollment from students within the state. 

Branstad also addressed concerns from state employees on the future of their health insurance. 

"If we went to one uniform statewide plan, I think the savings could be $200 million dollars," said Branstad. "To be shared among counties, cities, and the states. Schools get about half of that. So we would have to eliminate health care as a bargaining item."

The meeting also addressed Branstad's plan for a statewide minimum wage. . 

Member of Iowa Association of Business and Industry Mark Hanawalt also in attendance. 

"We need to not only keep people here, but we need to find ways to attract people here," said Hanawalt. 

Branstad mentioning these changes as unfinished business he plans on addressing before the transition to U.S. Ambassador of China. 

"You have done a great job in this community over a long period of time in economic development and i think the fact that you have all these players  from all the different diverse parts...working together," said Branstad. "That is a great asset. "

Branstad says he's still focused on serving as Governor and submitting the budget for the next two years until President-elect Trumps inauguration.

Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will assume Branstad's duties when he becomes Ambassador to China. Reynolds making stops in Sigourney and Bellevue on Thursday. 

Reynolds will tour a shrimp farm start-up in Sigourney, and then visit Bellevue High school for an event featuring different area school programs.

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