Marco Battaglia’s response to the Governor’s Condition of the State

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Condition of the State Response

January 19, 2018

Marco Battaglia

Iowa is in dire need of Comprehensive Tax Reform

Governor Renyolds said that she wants to lower taxes but she has been hesitant to say what exactly her plan is. I’ve heard politicians from the right and left of me say my whole life that they were going to lower taxes. Studying the past administrations in Iowa I’ve heard these promises and this debate ongoing throughout the previous century. I am willing to say right now that my tax plan works to eliminate the income tax entirely while reducing property taxes for all Iowans. Instead of using the markets that we are working to open up, to spend more of your money, I want to use them to systematically decrease the size of Iowa Government and to simplify and reduce taxation for all Iowans; Not just ones that participate with my political party, that donate to my campaign, or that belong to a specific tax bracket.

Iowans need and deserve real solutions not “Reynolds-Care”

The Governor has doubled down saying that she believes in the current crony capitalism regarding the state’s medicaid. This is not a classic republican or a classic liberal position nor is it the right thing for Iowans at this time. I believe that true free market solutions will not leave the most vulnerable Iowans without assistance. There is this unfounded fear mongering about Libertarians that we would not look out for special needs or low income individuals and I am running in part to show that this could not be further from the reality. My platform actually works to restore access to services in regards to mental health, special needs, and low income peoples. It is my belief that that we can work to move towards a much freer market without making haphazard and dangerous cuts that effect these peoples and their loved ones.

I believe that Bill Dix should resign.

In regards to Majority Leader of the Iowa Senate Bill Dix I will go as far as to say that he needs to step down. Bill Dix, I am asking you to step down. I think that you should resign immediately. A majority of us that come from the private sector would be fired if we would have handled such behavior in our workplace in this manner.

Spending more and more money for worse and worse results?

Governor Reynolds said that we invested in our kids at a record level, committing $735 million more for education since 2011. Reynolds also said that over the last 10 years, only three states increased education funding at a higher rate than Iowa. I am not proud of this. The state’s growing contributions to K-12 don’t translate dollar-for-dollar to districts’ budgets. For decades—and as recently as 1992–Iowa students either led the nation in student achievement or were right at the top of the pack. The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills began, not surprisingly, right here in Iowa. So did the ACT assessment. No state can afford to be self-satisfied and to perpetuate the status-quo and I am afraid to say that our administrations since have done just that. Over the last two decades, Iowa has stagnated educationally. Many states, and even other nations, are now outperforming Iowa. I beseech the Governor to take a look at the fact that Iowa is the only state in the nation that hasn’t made significant progress in early math education since 1992. Iowa now ranks in the bottom ten states in the percentage of high school seniors who take and pass an Advanced Placement course.

I believe arguments that more English as a second language students, or that more poor students, play a role in this, are entirely bogus. More than 80 percent of Iowa’s students are still white kids that were raised knowing English only–and these students are no longer among the best in the nation. In fact, reading scores for non-poor, white students in Iowa on the NAEP assessment are now below the national average for their peer group. Students in 29 U.S. states are more likely to be advanced in math than these students in Iowa. And all students in 30 nations and provinces are more likely to be advanced math students than just these students in Iowa. In the knowledge economy, that is not nearly good enough–because Iowa students are no longer competing just against their peers in their community or in their state. They will be competing with students for jobs and admission to higher education with students from places like China, South Korea, Canada, India, and Russia. I actually believe that being bi or multi-lingual is an amazing thing for children to be and actually an early indicator that one is going to grow to be very intelligent. I need everyone that wants to participate to consider what kind of return we are getting on our investments here? Are there true school choice and free market solutions that could move us in a better direction at a much lower cost? Is there any excuse for a child with educated guardians and connection to the internet not to have access to a world class education in the year 2018?

I believe that Iowans should be able to set their own high bar in terms of education standards. State and local governments should be able to lead the way on raising standards, measuring and supporting teacher and leader effectiveness, re-evaluating the skills that children are taught, and closing achievement gaps. Iowans need the freedom to be leaders in implementing innovation to increase and improve learning. Iowa has one of the weakest charter school laws in the nation, limiting educational flexibility and experimentation. Iowans need true alternative certification programs and options for true competition, creating incentives for teachers or else we will continue to export our top talent to other states and other countries. Reynolds was right that the state’s contribution to K-12 education has increased by about $735 million since 2011 and she was right that over the last 10 years, only three states increased education funding at a higher rate than Iowa, but I would not use these items as a bragging points myself. A vast majority of Iowans believe that every child in all parts of Iowa should have access to quality education. I believe that my vision is best suited to ensure us a path there and that it ensures that we are improving on education for years to come. I believe that we can work smarter to improve education and actually save significant amounts of our money while returning Iowa to being a state that churns out people with world-class educations and skills.

Make Mental Health A Priority

Governor Reynold’s actually had the nerve to brag about the status of Mental Health Care in Iowa during her address. Perhaps if she was at the Gubernatorial mental health forum that I attended, she would have heard what Iowan’s think about the state of mental health care in Iowa. I don’t see how she could feel positive about being complicit in the direction that we having been going for decades on mental health in Iowa. I believe so strongly in my medical freedom platform that I am willing to say that it will not only increase care access to levels never before seen in Iowa but that it will draw top mental health professionals from all over the world to Iowa.

End the War on People

Not only was Kim Reynolds inaccurate with her numbers in regard to opioids during her address but why does she or any other elected official even bother to keep talking about them without addressing solutions to the problems? My medical freedom platform works to end the war on drugs so that addicts can ask for and receive help in lieu of fines, imprisonment, criminal records, and forced labor. It gives those that need pain relief alternatives to opioids if they choose them. This gives medical and public safety professionals affordable access and the ability to use life saving measures in every instance of opioid overdose. Under my vision officers of the law, legal, and medical professionals will all be able to focus on the violent crimes that are going on in Iowa. By expunging the records of those charged with non violent drug crimes we will return many people to the workforce and allow many Iowans to work their way up the economic ladder.

Give Iowans their land back

I understand that a Governor is unable to touch on everything in such an address but I must say that I am also disappointed that the Governor did not touch on opening up new markets for Iowa farmers such as hemp and raw dairy, and with how did she did not address the pressing pollinators, soil, and water quality issues.

 

 

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