As we start the final stretch of legislative session, it reminds me of how honored I am to be your legislator serving Dallas County, West Des Moines, Waukee, and Clive. We are now moving on from policy bills and are focusing on the state budget.
Over the last decade, some priorities have failed to keep economic development at the front and center. That was confirmed by a panel of Iowa budget experts that decreased next year’s state revenue estimates. I will work to further priorities based on what matters most to Iowans. I know in my district that means growing our economy, supporting education, and having an affordable and accessible health care system.
Kenan Judge (Photo: Special to the Register)
If people are employed, educated and insured, we know they will be productive. We need to give people the resources to advance as individuals, or at least not obstruct that progress. We can get the tax revenue we need for our state budget with jobs and wage growth instead of tax increases.
I will be looking for ways to support economic development throughout the state. We need to plan for urban centers as well as rural. This includes preparing for the job economy of tomorrow. It is all connected when building an economy that will boost revenue. Current projections show a future shortage of medical and trade professionals. Supporting apprenticeship programs is one way we can bolster our economy, and lowering the cost of professional training overall.
I greatly appreciate hearing from constituents as legislation is being considered. I know that for many of my constituents, affordable and accessible health care is crucial. It was a privilege to serve on the Health and Human Services budget subcommittee and discuss the health care needs of Iowans with my colleagues. I am glad we passed a new children’s mental health system, and we are making strides in supporting health care accessibility overall.
I am still concerned about deficiencies and instability in our privatized managed care system. Iowans support this system as tax-payers, yet some cannot afford or access basic services. Vulnerable Iowans in particular who need specific treatment, equipment and living arrangements are being denied these requirements unfairly. As a state, we must keep our health care system transparent, stable and affordable.
I represent one of the greatest school districts in the state, and I take pride in the exceptional quality of our public schools. Students, teachers, parents and administrators all rely on a base level of funding from the state. I was glad to see bipartisan support in the House of Representatives for a bill that extends SAVE, or Secure an Advanced Vision for Education, to 2051. SAVE supports schools in planning and funding future infrastructure projects. This is a fiscally responsible program that enables schools to plan for the long term.
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I will always center my responsibilities as a legislator on civility and compromise. Many of our values as Iowans are shared. We should govern with respect to tradition and consideration for the future. I will keep the values and concerns of my constituents in mind as we work at the Capitol to improve our state.
STATE REP. KENAN JUDGE, D-Waukee represents House District 44, which includes portions of Clive, Waukee and the Dallas County portion of West Des Moines. He can be reached at [email protected]
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