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One-on-one with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on 'conditions of the state'

Reynolds said education is a top priority for her, telling constituents that over the past seven years, the state has invested 735 million dollars in K-12 education.

Governor Kim Reynolds is making stops across Iowa highlighting key points from her Condition of the State address.

It is part of her 'Unleashing Opportunity' tour. On Friday, Reynolds met with constituents at a Hy-Vee in Cedar Falls to ask questions about how to improve Iowan communities.

Reynolds touting what she calls accomplishments including the state's switch to privatized health care and supporting education for workforce training.

In addition, she said the state is already unleashing opportunities for Iowans.

"We're the number one state for middle class families. We're the number one state for high school graduation rate," said Reynolds.

She highlighted $37 million dollars in funding is going to facilitate more STEM education, and continues to promote apprenticeship training.

"That's the biggest thing that I can help to grow this economy is to get Iowans the skills so they can have a great career," she said.

Reynolds said there is a shortage of qualified workers for Iowa jobs.

However, in her nearly eight years at the capitol, the state has only created around 50,000 new jobs, a quarter of the original goal of 200,000, and income has increased by less than four percent.

"We're seeing additional revenue come in, it's just not as robust as the revenue estimating conference had projected," she said.

Reynolds said education is a top priority for her, telling constituents that over the past seven years, the state has invested 735 million dollars in K-12 education.

However, outside her event, protesters said the government is failing in funding education, among other concerns. This comes after a recent senate bill proposal suggested cutting nearly $20 million in funding to public universities and more than $5 million for community colleges.

Reynolds said its a discussion that still needs to happen. She proposes taking back $5 million from public university appropriations, saying it would cause the least amount of disruption.

She said 60 percent of the state's budget already goes toward education.

"While they're wanting me to make sure that I provide funding for education and higher education, I'm also trying to balance the needs of individuals with mental health and managed care to make sure I can have the services available for some our most vulnerable Iowans," she said.

Reynolds continued her 'unleashing opportunity' tour in Marion on Saturday February 3 at the Aurora Coffee Co.


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