Branstad Gives Condition of the State Address - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Branstad Gives Condition of the State Address

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By: Claire Powell

Governor Terry Branstad gave his Condition of the State Address Tuesday morning and some of his goals may sound familiar.

He's proposing veteran jobs, connecting Iowans through increased technology, freezing tuition at Regent universities and anti-bullying legislation.

Governor Branstad said what Iowa is doing is working.

He plans to push the importance of the STEM Program throughout Iowa. He also wants to allow students and workers to earn while they learn by starting The Iowa Apprenticeship and Job Training Act.

The act would give hands-on training and a paycheck to students.

"Improving education in our state is imperative to improving our jobs outlook, our economic outlook and the outlook for the Iowa Dream itself," said Gov. Branstad.

Branstad said he'll also submit another budget to freeze tuition for Regent universities for a second consecutive time.

"We need to reinforce with our students that if they borrow, they need to borrow only enough to pay the bills," said Gov. Branstad.

On the other hand of education, he never wants to lose focus on preventing bullying in all Iowa schools. Tuesday, he called on both parties to support The Bully-Free Act of 2014 which would direct schools to inform parents if their child is involved in an incident.

"We can take action to empower students and their parents. We can untie the hands of schools to allow them to better address cyberbullying," said Gov. Branstad.

In another topic, Branstad said through high speed technology and access to that technology, Iowa businesses and resources can improve. The Connect Every Iowan Act is a time-limited and geographically-limited tax incentive to encourage to build technological infrastructures in unserved areas.

"As our connection speeds increase, so does the pace of our economic progress, so does our ability to grow jobs," said Gov. Branstad.

Finally, in November, Branstad announced The Home Base Iowa Initiative that he hopes will be turned into an act to help Iowa veterans. The act would fully exempt military pensions from state income tax, grant in-state tuition to veterans, their spouses and dependents at all Iowa community colleges. Finally, it would help veterans find jobs and homes here in Iowa.

"We want our veterans to know that in Iowa, if you dream it – you can achieve it.  In Iowa, you can find a home you can afford," said Gov. Branstad. "In Iowa we honor our veterans not only with words and ceremonies but with action."

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