Branstad visits with Osky News.

Governor Branstad

We recently had an opportunity to ask former Governor Branstad some questions on some issue’s facing Iowan’s this year. He was gracious enough to send us some of his replies to those, and we want to share with you his thoughts to them.

1. What is your opinion on the Iowa Judicial Process? Should justices legislate from the bench (i.e. Varnum v. Brien)?

Governor Branstad strongly believes in the separation of power as laid out in the Iowa Constitution. One of the mechanisms in the Iowa Constitution to allow checks and balances among the three branches of government is a vote of the people to overturn a court’s ruling. The process requires the Iowa General Assembly to pass a resolution stating a constitutional amendment in two concurrent general assemblies. The resolution then goes before the citizens of Iowa to allow them to vote if they want to uphold the court’s ruling or overturn it and adopt the amendment for the state constitution. Governor Branstad has advocated for and supports having the Iowa Legislature pass a constitutional resolution which would amend the State Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

2. Should there be term limits at the governor’s office?

Governor Branstad supports term limits for the governor if term limits are also imposed on members of the Legislature.

3. With unemployment at all time highs, how do you plan to help create more jobs?

We need to make Iowa more attractive and competitive for businesses and entrepreneurs.

Currently, we rank very low for start-up businesses. Our commercial property taxes are among the highest in the country, our corporate income tax rate is the highest in the country and our permitting process takes too long. These are impediments that cause business decision makers to choose not to locate here.

I have a plan to improve all of these elements and make our state more marketable to job creators. This includes reducing the tax burden, sun setting existing rules and regulations in order to look at them and make them more effective, expediting the permit process and eliminating job-killing regulations. I will also revamp the Iowa Department of Economic Development into a private-public partnership called the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress to make Iowa more effective at creating jobs. I also intend to be hands-on involved and active in recruiting new jobs and encouraging entrepreneurs to invest in our state.

When I came into office in 1983, unemployment was 8.5% and when I left, it was at just 2.5%, with a record number of Iowans employed. I want to again put my focus on job creation.

4. Do you think that Iowans should have the right to vote on the gay marriage law?

Yes. Please see my answer to Question # 1

5. What are your thoughts on Bob VanderPlaat’s move to avoid retention of the 3 Supreme Court justices up for retention this year?

The ability to vote for the retention of Supreme Court justices is laid out in the Iowa Constitution and I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to exercise your vote. I believe how a person votes is a private matter and Iowa should vote their convictions.

6. Do you think that Iowa needs an immigration law similar to Arizona’s?

As governor, I welcomed legal immigrants from around the world to locate and prosper here. I believe we must strongly enforce our existing immigration laws, and that state and local officials should work with the federal government to ensure our laws are followed. I believe that if the federal government will not enforce existing laws, Iowa specific-legislation should be drafted that will enable local law enforcement to detain those individuals who are here illegally. I have made it clear that the costs associated with the enforcement of our immigration laws should and will be borne by the federal government.

7. What is your opinion of the new federal health care law? Should it be repealed?

Yes.  I believe the Iowa attorney general should join other states in challenging some of the mandates involved in health care reform. I have big concerns about the impact it will have on the state’s budget because of the Medicaid implications and costs to states in future years. Two items I support in the health care reform bill are the provision that does not permit insurance to be denied because of pre-existing conditions, along with improving reimbursement to providers in states like Iowa.

8.  Should we keep state funding for preschool?

I support pre-schools and understand that a pre-school experience is valuable in preparing our children for kindergarten.  The current pre-school program has seen the creation of many successful public-private pre-school partnerships across our state.  My goal would be to continue to encourage these partnerships with the goal of making sure those families who cannot afford pre-school would receive assistance, but to avoid moving to a new entitlement preschool model whereby tax dollars are paying tuition for preschool for all families that have been paying.  This is based upon my concern that as a state we should not be starting an entitlement program while at the same time cutting K-12 education with the 10% across the board cut as Governor Culver did last year.

9. What is your opinion of HAWK-I?

When I was governor before I signed the HAWK-I program into law. It was designed to provide health care insurance for children of low income families who did not qualify for Medicaid. When it began, people who were at 185% of poverty were eligible for HAWK-I, but it has greatly been expanded to include families at 300% of poverty.

10. Is I-JOBS working? If not, then what should be done to replace it?

Governor Chet Culver and the Democrat legislature passed the I-JOBS program which, including interest, borrows a total of $1.7 billion of new debt for the State of Iowa. The new debt will cost Iowans $55 a year in interest payments for 23 years. Originally Governor Culver touted the program as a way to create 30,000 new jobs, but it has fallen far short of that goal. I would work to return to a standard whereby Iowa’s vertical infrastructure needs are paid for on a ‘pay as you go basis’ rather than borrowing money to pay for Iowa’s building needs. I would instead use the money in the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF) to pay for infrastructure needs, and not do as Governor Culver did and use notwithstanding language to divert 95% of the RIIF fund to pay for non-infrastructure needs. Now we will need to spend $55 million of the RIIF money each year for interest instead of using it to fund multiple infrastructure projects.

Posted by on Oct 20 2010. Filed under Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

1 Comment for “Branstad visits with Osky News.”

  1. […] Culver – Link HERE – Link HERE Terry Branstad – Link HERE – Link HERE – Link HERE Jonathan Narcisse – Link HERE – Link […]

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