Gov. Reynolds talks big Iowa issues on campaign trail - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Gov. Reynolds talks big Iowa issues on campaign trail

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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is looking to make history for the second time.  Reynolds has officially announced her run to be the first woman elected to the office of governor. 

Reynolds took over the office in 2017 when former Governor Terry Branstad accepted the position of Ambassador to China.

Friday, Reynolds made a campaign stop at the Cedar Falls Hy-Vee.

For her, Hy-Vee is more than a campaign stop.  It's where Reynolds once worked bagging groceries to help support her family.  She says she hasn't forgotten those roots.

"I do understand that every little dollar counts," Reynolds told the Cedar Falls crowd.

Every dollar counts in a state budget that is tight. Some Iowans criticize Reynolds and state leaders for not investing enough in education.  Currently, the K-12's budget sits above $3 billion.

"But we have to be careful we aren't measuring the quality of education by the sheer number of dollars that we put into it. Because, if we are not preparing our students for the future, then we are failing. So we have invested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). We are working on work-based learning opportunities where we get kids on the ground working in business and industry, so they can see the opportunities that exist within the state and keep them here," said Reynolds.

Continuing to build an educated workforce is a priority of the governor.  It's one she says could help cities become more independent as the Iowa legislature considers cutting money that was promised annually to cities to make up a difference in property tax cuts made in 2013. 

"Growing the economy, I think, is the best thing we can do for not only Iowans, but local governments across the state," said Reynolds.

Waterloo is one of the cities concerned about the possible funding gap and has spent hours debating if they can count on the nearly $2 million promised.

"We need to honor the commitments, but as we look at tax reform and moving forward, we need to have local governments at the table. If we talk about reducing it, it needs to be phased out over time," said Reynolds.

Reynolds touched on the current successes of the state, as well as plans to continue to grow.

The governor also touched on the continued importance of school safety.

"It has to be a holistic approach.  There is not one single answer to addressing this. We need to make sure our schools are safe, single-point of entry, and metal detectors," said Reynolds. "If it is a decision made by the local school districts to allow personnel that is trained and able to handle a gun, then that is a decision made by the local government."

Reynolds went on to say the state also needs to find a balance when it comes to mental health.

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