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Senator Ragan says 2014 legislative session should focus on growing middle class

This news story was published on January 16, 2014.
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From Senator Amanda Ragan –

The 2014 legislative session gaveled in on January 13. This year, strengthening Iowa’s middle class remains my top priority. We can do it by building on the many bipartisan successes of last year. We approved the largest tax cut in state history, froze university tuition, improved job-training opportunities and increased access to affordable health care. This year, I hope we’ll take that same approach to funding for our local schools after several unpredictable years.

Providing our children with a great education and expanding our middle class go hand in hand. The number of Iowa kids growing up in poverty is at a 50-year high, and our state’s childhood poverty rate is climbing faster than the national average. At the same time, the gap in student achievement between well-off and low-income students is also growing. We must make a strong investment in our local schools, but Iowa family incomes also need a boost. Increasing family incomes is good for the Iowa economy and helps our kids do their best in school. Last spring, we cut taxes on working families and expanded job-training efforts to prepare more parents for higher-skilled, better-paying work.

Iowa’s fiscal house in order, with record-high amounts in our reserve funds. That means this year we can modestly invest in schoolchildren, creating good jobs and ensuring Iowans can earn enough to provide for their families.

In the weeks and months ahead, I’ll be working on these priorities with the Governor, the House and my colleagues in the Senate. As we do, I want to know what your think. Often I hear the best ideas from the people in my district. If you have suggestions, please contact me.

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