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Protecting education and Iowans’ other key priorities

March 13, 2010
By State Sen. Tom Rielly (D-Oskaloosa)
The Senate moved this week to protect key priorities by investing an additional $51.2 million in public safety, education and public health.

Legislation approved this week includes an additional $30 million for three state universities and an additional $6 million for community colleges for the current fiscal year.

At the same time, we are continuing to develop next year’s education spending plan, which will be even tighter due to the lingering national recession. Though cuts must be made in all areas of state government, we will continue to invest as much as possible in increasing student achievement and other key priorities.

I’m disappointed with the cuts in education spending because I believe educational opportunity is essential for a successful future for Iowa’s children and for our state as a whole.

When the national economy begins to improve, I’ll push hard to restore education funding. Great local schools and colleges are necessary for Iowa to build a strong, diversified economy that creates more good-paying jobs.

Iowa is 10 for 10 on priorities for military families

The U.S. Department of Defense has a list of 10 quality-of-life issues for military families that it would like all 50 states to address.

The good news is that Iowa is on track to be the first state in the nation to go “10 for 10” when it comes to supporting our service members.

Here in Iowa, we’ve made the well-being of military families a top priority by helping them when it comes to education, health care, employment, custody issues and voting.

Almost 4,000 Iowa service members will be deployed this year. When you consider the sacrifices these Iowans are making, the benefits the state provides them are modest, common-sense measures. In fact, by the time the 2010 session adjourns, Iowa will go far beyond what the Department of Defense is requesting when it comes to supporting our military families.

You can learn more at the Department of Defense’s Web site at


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