On the Issues

Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor believe that state government’s responsibility is to provide a positive business climate that promotes the growth of quality private sector jobs through a competitive tax structure and a reasonable regulatory climate. Branstad will continue his hands-on leadership approach in attracting new businesses and encouraging expansion of existing Iowa businesses in order to provide higher incomes and exceptional job opportunities for Iowans.

Throughout his career in public service, Governor Branstad has consistently worked to reduce taxes in order to make Iowa more competitive. Under his leadership, the state has had $9 billion in private capital investment over the past three and a half years. Branstad also introduced the Home Base Iowa Act, a bipartisan jobs program that promotes and encourages veteran employment.

Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds want Iowans to keep more of their hard-earned money and believe all Iowa taxpayers should see tax relief. Branstad signed the largest property tax cut in state history in 2013, providing record property tax relief for Iowans and all classes of property will see tax relief, including residential. The governor is committed to controlling the cost of state government in order to meet the commitments necessary to replace local property taxes with state aid. The state must keep its word to local government and backfill their lost revenue from property tax relief for taxpayers.

Governor Branstad’s insistence on a two-year budget and five-year budget projections increased stability and predictability for Iowa taxpayers. The Branstad-Reynolds administration has remained true to their promise to reduce the size and cost of state government by reducing state government by more than 1,400 positions. The governor and lieutenant governor will continue looking for efficiencies throughout all of state government while protecting the health, safety and economic outlook for Iowans.

Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds believe government should work collaboratively with taxpayers. Since taking office, Governor Branstad has led a comprehensive review of all administrative rules currently on the books. Governor Branstad also signed Executive Order 80 which created a process for greater stakeholder involvement in administrative rules.

Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds believe a comprehensive review of all occupational licenses is needed to eliminate unnecessary restrictions and costs that unfairly prevent Iowans from becoming licensed in our state. Additionally, the Home Base Iowa Act streamlines occupational licensure for veterans moving to Iowa after their service in the armed services.

Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds believe that Iowa children deserve a world-class education and Gov. Branstad signed into law transformational education reform to meet that goal. They believe the teacher leadership plan, to be implemented over the next few years, can put Iowa on the path to being recognized as having world-class schools.

The state’s responsibility is to set high standards, not curriculum. Curriculum should be the responsibility of local school districts. The curriculum should be designed to meet rigorous state standards.

Governor Branstad signed Executive Order 83 in October 2013 making it clear that Iowa will not have education curriculum mandated by the federal government or share confidential student information with them. He believes the State of Iowa, not the federal government or any other organization, should determine the content of Iowa’s state academic standards. Additionally, The State of Iowa, not the federal government or any other organization, shall be able to choose the statewide assessments that will measure student performance. Finally, local districts may also choose to use additional assessments to measure student academic progress. Iowa should set its own high academic standards.

Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds believe that we need to have a system that encourages high achievers to go into teaching and rewards great teachers that take on additional responsibility to improve student achievement. The education reform bill passed last year provides a $20,000 stipend to high achieving teachers who are in the top 25 percent of their class, go into difficult subjects and stay in Iowa for 5 years. It also provides significant additional funding for teachers who take on leadership responsibilities to improve student achievement.

After dramatic tuition increases during the previous two administrations, Governor Branstad has been able to improve funding for the Regents institutions and community colleges. For the first time since 1980, Iowa students at Regent universities will receive a tuition freeze in consecutive years. The governor signed a 9 percent increase in community college funding in 2013. Additionally, the transformational education reform package of 2013 represents the largest investment in our schools in the state’s history. Education funding continues to be a top priority.

Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds believe in parental choice in education. The governor has strongly supported public education as well as providing tax credits to Iowans who contribute to student tuition organizations, which assist students in financial need allowing them the opportunity to attend private schools. He has worked to give Iowa families the opportunity to homeschool their children, including allowing homeschooling parents the ability to teach drivers-ed. The 1990 Homeschool law and 2013 education reform bill provided further independence and significant benefits for these schooling options.

Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds support preschool education and believe that the funding should be targeted to make sure low-income families all have the opportunity to have free preschool for their children.

For more on our plan to tackle student debt and reduce the cost of college, go here: BranstadReynolds.com/education

Governor Branstad has always believed health care reform in our state should be focused on improving the health of Iowans. With that in mind, Iowa has charted its own course with the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan which improves access, reimburses for quality outcomes, encourages Iowans to take ownership over their health and is sustainable over the long-term. Governor Branstad has worked to bring doctors to rural communities in Iowa and more doctors to Iowa overall.

Governor Branstad is committed to a sustainable mental health system that benefits all Iowans. Since mental health redesign began more than two years ago, Iowa taxpayers have invested more than $115 million into mental health funding statewide. Additionally, the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan includes mental health coverage for low-income Iowans. The Iowa Health and Wellness Plan and mental health redesign represent a major investment in increasing access to services and high quality outcomes for Iowans.

Governor Branstad has been a champion for Iowa agriculture his entire life, from his early days as a farmer to his time in office where he was fighting for a robust Renewable Fuel Standard, fighting for Iowa egg and beef producers, and fighting for rural development with energy tax credits.

As Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds travel to all 99 counties every year, they hear from farmers that they lack cellular coverage in fields where their machines operate. As machines become increasingly tied to broadband networks to feed, clothe and fuel the world, there is a massive demand for connectivity and a significant gap between rural and urban areas. Connect Every Acre would expand broadband access to every Iowan in every corner of this state. This legislation would provide streamlined infrastructure for rural and agricultural areas in Iowa, having as big an impact on Iowa agriculture as mechanization had in the previous century. Read more about Connect Every Acre here: www.BranstadReynolds.com/ConnectEveryAcre

Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds launched the Fueling Our Future initiative as a public-private partnership to strengthen and expand biofuels. Time and again, Governor Branstad has fought for growers and producers whether it was for beef producers in 2012 or egg producers this year. Farmers know that there is no better friend to agriculture than having Terry Branstad in the governor’s office.

Governor Branstad signed solar and wind energy tax credits into law in 2012 and 2014, respectively, and Iowa currently generates 27.4% of its electricity from wind–the highest in the nation.

The Branstad-Reynolds administration supports the nutrient reduction strategy and has played an active role, along with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University, in promoting the use of the strategy’s best practices. In FY2014, Governor Branstad signed more than 20 million dollars in additional funding intended to protect Iowa’s streams and rivers and assist landowners in implementing new conservation practices.
Iowa has quality air and Governor Branstad will continue to work to ensure this is the case. The governor and lt. governor want to protect all of Iowa’s natural resources. Through a common-sense regulatory approach, Iowa’s air is protected by balanced regulations that allow for clean air and does not add unnecessary or burdensome regulations on job-creating businesses. Governor Branstad has increased water quality funding by 26%.

In fact, monitoring data shows that all monitor locations in the state are meeting the annual fine particle National Ambient Air Quality Standard. Previously, a portion Muscatine County was designated as “nonattainment,” but new data shows fine particle levels trending downward in the county.

Governor Branstad supports a consistent and effective statewide approach to regulation of livestock facilities.


Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds are pro-life and believe in protecting the sanctity of human life. Iowa Right to Life endorsed them in this election. Every pro life law in Iowa was signed by Governor Branstad.

Governor Branstad is a lifelong hunter and strongly supports the right to keep and bear arms as provided in the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution. Branstad believes that there are sufficient laws in place relating to guns in Iowa and is not seeking to change any laws at this time. The National Rifle Association endorsed Governor Branstad in this election.