Revitalize Iowa Agriculture
The foundation of Iowa’s economy is in agriculture. Iowa has a proud history of family farms and communities working tirelessly to feed the nation, and the world. In recent decades, our farmers have been left behind due to falling revenues, lacking innovation, and tax struggles, stagnating our small communities in the process. It pains me to see this happen, and I have a plan to turn the tide back in favor of our family farms by rewarding the farmers already working every day to make ends meet and securing a future for agriculture. Farmers work hard for every dollar they earn, and I want to make sure they receive the full value of their work.
I want to expand R&D tax credits to small, ag-based businesses and startups, paving the way for new, innovative farming techniques for years to come. I plan on enhancing the Ethanol and renewable tax credits, promoting exploration into renewable resources and providing tax investment in our farms to put our producers on the front lines of building a more sustainable future. This voluntary investment allows our farmers to be rewarded for maintaining their investment by retaining nutrients in the soil and utilizing alternative revenue streams such as carbon sequestration and biogas. I also plan on creating partnerships with our producers to find the best ways to make it easier to create new revenue streams outside the traditional commodities.
In order to expand access for aspiring farmers, I want to encourage potential farmers to stay in the state and bring in a new generation of farmers to Iowa. To that end, I want to include all siblings and blood relatives into the inheritance tax exemption, to make it easier for farms to stay in the family, and out of the hands of alternative interests. I also know that not all of the family is blood, and there are dedicated farm hands across the state who have become family and want to continue the tradition. That’s why I plan to add a farm-hand exemption to the inheritance tax, so that dedicated workers can be rewarded for all their efforts over the years.
Our family farms are some of our most valuable resources. I pledge to fight for our farms every day that I am in office.
Rebuild Iowa Education
I want to make sure that all our students have the access to everything they need in order to learn, and that includes transportation. Our rural districts must transport students just as the districts in urban areas do; but when our schools consolidate, we need to bring in kids from further and further away, which means less money for learning which is why we need to provide equitable funding to our rural schools. I want to make sure that rural school districts get the same opportunities for their students, not just the same money.
Our schools play a big part in shaping all of us into who we are today. And I want to make sure that our schools have every resource they need to help our children succeed. For that reason, I want to close the funding gap our schools have seen in recent years. Instead of falling further behind, we need to take action now to close the funding gap. I’m aiming for a 4.5% increase in education funding next year, followed by a 4% increase the year after to bring our education funding level closer to where it used to be. After that, I plan to tie education funding with the rate of inflation so we won’t see such a large funding gap in the future.
Our teachers have some of the hardest jobs around. Not only do they teach our children, they provide what is essentially low-cost childcare nine months of the year. They often supplement classroom materials out of their own pockets, and give up time they could spend with their families to coach our football teams, direct our choirs and bands, even chaperone school dances. It is well past time they were thanked for all they do for us. To start that process, I intend to support legislation that reinstates teachers’ collective bargaining rights, allowing them the opportunity to bargain for higher pay, insurance, and benefits that they have earned.
Our children deserve the world from us. Let’s make Iowa schools the gold standard nationwide, again.
Renew Iowa’s Economy
Main street and small businesses are the backbone of the economy. As a business owner I have first hand experience of making sure pay checks go out every month, complying with state and federal tax regulations, and trying to find quality staff. I know how much our small businesses matter to our local economy and that is why I am a member of the local Chamber of Commerce, because I know that local businesses help build communities. I understand the importance of the private sector in our economy and I also see how we can create public/private partnerships to better strengthen our communities.
Iowa ranks among the top 10 worst environments for small businesses and entrepreneurs.* I know our business owners are struggling, now more than ever. I pledge to fight for our main street business every day that I am in office, because I know the struggle of just making it by each month.
I plan on setting standards in government tax abatements for out of state corporations in order to transition those incentives to our local businesses. I want to create low-interest renovation loans available to main street businesses that have become staples of our communities. I want to make sure that our minimum wage is able to compete with our neighboring states to ensure Iowa businesses are competitive. Additionally, I want to empower our small businesses to better support their employees by offering tax incentives for childcare, healthcare, and good pay.
I know how difficult it is to take the risk to drop everything and go all in on your business idea. It is because of my experience that I want to make it easier for entrepreneurs and startups to get up on their feet. I plan on doing this by prioritizing R&D tax credits for startups in technology; reallocating funding to a startup grant for technology related to advancing agriculture; and supporting investment from private enterprise.
A thriving local economy is a pillar of a community. I’m going to fight for all of us, and ensure our economy is built up and is able to stand strong.
Restore Iowa Healthcare
We are fortunate to live in a country with some of the best, leading edge technology in healthcare and dedicated healthcare workers that have been going nonstop for the past six months, risking their lives in an effort to save others. But as great as is the care that exists, not everyone is able to access the healthcare they need, and the cost of good healthcare is still remarkably high for many working Iowans and families.
I believe in choice; that we should be able to choose our doctor, choose our insurance provider, choose the care that we think is best for us. But I want to make sure that every person in our community has access to affordable healthcare. Since the recent privatization of Medicaid, healthcare costs in Iowa have gone up and services have declined. That is unacceptable. While we can’t get rid of the current system altogether, we need to take action now to balance out public and privatized Medicaid in the state, and stop costs from going up and to ensure that our providers, such as first responders and rural clinics, are getting paid.
The pandemic has only exacerbated the need for mental health services in our state and our schools; it has shown that we lack resources dedicated to mental healthcare. Students in need of support often turn to teachers and school counselors who are overworked and not fully equipped to address serious mental health concerns. Early involvement can make a huge difference in the outcome of a student’s life, which is why I have a plan to connect the private with the public sector to make mental health professionals available to every school in Iowa.
Rural healthcare providers are at a disadvantage when it comes to funding; I want to update our healthcare facilities in underserved areas with a pool of money made available to our rural healthcare providers to update their medical equipment and facilities. This will enable them to provide better care for their patients while saving time and money for our small community members.
Building a better healthcare system for Iowa will require innovative thinking and compromise. I’m asking for your vote to bring this possibility to everyone in our district.