Reynolds calls for 100% in-person learning option, expanded broadband


Governor Kim Reynolds addressed a joint session of the Iowa State Legislature, and Iowans on Tuesday night during her annual "Condition of the State" speech.

Reynolds once again repeated her calls to the Assembly to pass a bill that would brings students back into classrooms for full-time in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I am asking the Legislature to immediately send a bill to my desk that gives parents the choice to send their child back to school full time. we can't wait any longer, our kids can't wait any longer."

The Governor also recognizes a major problem for Iowans have worked or learned from home throughout the pandemic: A lack of broadband internet access. Reynolds said about a third of Iowa counties are still broadband deserts, where high-speed internet is rarely offered. The Governor pointed out that Iowa has the second lowest broadband speeds in the country.

"This is the time for bold action and leadership. Let's plant a stake in the ground, and declare that every part of Iowa will have affordable, high-speed broadband by 2025. We'll get there by committing $450 million over that time period..."

Reynolds noted that the state is currently in a good financial position, which is good news for Iowa taxpayers.

"We aren't looking at tough budget cuts and we're certainly not looking to raise taxes. If anything, we need to continue the conversation about cutting taxes, and we can start by getting rid of the unnecessary triggers put in place in 2018."

Governor Reynolds closed her speech by asking Iowans to do two things: Keep helping those in need, and don't return to normal, be better.

"If anything, this year has shown us what we can accomplish, and how fast we can do it. Hold onto that spirit...to the feeling we're working for the greater good, and not ourselves."

You can read the full text of the Governor's Condition of the State speech here.