(Urbandale, IA) Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds filled the meeting room at the Machine Shed Restaurant for the Westside Conservatives Club on Wednesday morning. Historically, presidential candidates are usually the big draw, but many Des Moines area conservatives wanted an opportunity to hear more from Iowa’s next Governor.
Reynolds was asked about a timeline for when Governor Terry Branstad would be confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to China and resign as Governor. She noted that he has not been called to Washington, DC yet for individual meetings with Senators, and then will have a confirmation hearing. She said the confirmation process for President Donald Trump’s cabinet has been slower and she speculated that the Senate would work to finish that, as well as, the Supreme Court vacancy before the Senate has April recess.
She lauded the Branstad Administration cutting over 2000 jobs since taking office in 2010, most of which Reynolds noted, has been through attrition. She reported that the Iowa Department of Management reported cutting those state jobs has saved the state around $200 million.
She also acknowledged revenue is down due to a tough agricultural economy, she said even with all of this Iowa is still seeing growth.
“I know it is not as robust as we had hoped for; we are still one of the few states still experiencing growth. A lot of states are still seeing and experiencing significant challenges, but I think we are still in a very good position. We have a great story to tell. We have a balanced budget, our reserves are full. Unemployment is a 3.6 (percent), the 10th lowest in the nation. We have had more Iowans working over the last few years than any other time in our state history. We have seen 13.5 billion dollars in capital investment in the state of Iowa, and that is just what has been incentivized through the Economic Development Authority. We have had a lot of other growth and development that has happened outside of that $13.5 billion,” Reynolds said touting the Governor’s economic accomplishments.
She expressed thankfulness for a Republican majority in the Iowa Senate, as well as, the welcome change that President Donald Trump brings to Washington, DC from the state perspective.
“Honestly to have a partner and somebody who is working with you in Washington, DC and not an adversary. We spent a lot of time fighting overburdensome regulations, micro-managing coming down from Washington, DC,” Reynolds said.
“It’s not perfect, we’ve got a lot of work to do, but at least we have somebody we can express concerns from the state perspective who understands federalism and letting states be the laboratories of democracy,” she added.
Watch her full remarks and Q&A below: