Legislative leaders from both parties say the proposals Governor Terry Branstad outlined in his “Condition of the State” speech appear do-able.
“I thought the governor presented a plan and an agenda that certainly the legislature can work with,” Senate President Pam Jochum, a Democrat from Dubuque, told reporters just after the speech.
House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Republican from Hiawatha, told reporters he hasn’t reviewed the details of Branstad’s budget plan, but Paulsen said Branstad struck the right tone with his address.
“I think his proposals are going to be really interesting to go through. I’m excited,” Paulsen said. “You know, clearly we have a governor that wants to move this state forward. I’m excited to be part of that.”
State Senator Jack Hatch — a Democrat from Des Moines who is running for governor — held a news conference just after Branstad’s speech to blast what he called Branstad’s “flat and uninspired” agenda.
“This is a speech of a governor that has clearly been here too long,” Hatch said. “…The governor’s agenda is timid, it’s lukewarm — really retreads of the past. It’s really too bad that the governor is focusing more on his record of longevity than on Iowa’s bold future.”
Hatch, though, said he supports the efforts Branstad outliend that will help veterans and crack down on school bullies.
Members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement lined the hallways and chanted slogans at the governor as Branstad made his way from his first-floor office up to the House of Representatives on the second floor. That’s where Branstad delivered his speech.