In the remaining hours of his term in office, Democratic Governor Chet Culver dealt a catastrophic blow to the lone job idea put forward this session by his own party leaders, Senate President John Kibbie (D-Emmetsburg) and Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs).
On Wednesday, Lawmakers and Iowa’s community colleges leaders learned that an unexpected $6 million dollars would be slashed from Iowa’s community colleges for this current fiscal year. The news of this surprising reduction comes just hours after Senate Democratic leaders outlined their lone jobs idea for the session which focused on adding more resources for Iowa’s community colleges.
“In this final parting shot to the citizens of Iowa, Governor Culver has not only sent community colleges and their students and faculty into turmoil, he has dealt a major blow to the lone jobs idea put forward by the two most prominent Democrats in the state,” said Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley.
In a speech to the Senate on Monday, Senate President Jack Kibbie touted community colleges as his answer for new job growth in Iowa by noting, “In my opinion, the greatest need in our education budget is community college funding.” He continued by adding, “These educational institutions can play a crucial role in training and retraining Iowans for the jobs of the future and lower our unemployment rolls. Community colleges are partners in economic growth and 90% of these students stay in Iowa.”
Senate Majority Leader Gronstal continued on Kibbie’s theme by quoting a number of letters he has received from community college leaders noting their significance to Iowa’s economy.
While the Democratic plan for expanding growth in Iowa has been dealt a massive hit by the governor of their own party, Senate Republicans are busy working with their colleagues in the House and the incoming Branstad/Reynolds Administration to open Iowa up for jobs by providing real property tax relief solutions, protecting Iowa’s Right to Work status, finding innovative ways to streamline government, ensuring reasonable levels of regulation and bolstering Iowa’s educational system.
“While the Democrat plan for jobs has taken a serious hit in the first week of session, Republicans are busy bringing forth bold solutions to bring jobs and economic growth back to Iowa. Senate Republicans will be making this session about jobs and we hope there will be a few Senate Democrats willing to join us in a bi-partisan effort,” McKinley concluded.
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