In the third major address of his term, Governor Tom Vilsack Wednesday laidout a “turning point” agenda which he says will help the state grow andsucceed in the coming century. During a half-hour speech yesterday, Vilsack said the easy part of his firstterm as Governor was over since the legislature enacted most of the campaignpromises he made in 1998. Vilsack said his next challenge is to make Iowa aleader in six areas: education, health care, public safety, environmentalprotection, economic-growth strategies, and government innovation. Vilsack said to achieve his vision, Iowans must put aside the jealousieswhich pit urban against rural and eastern Iowa against western Iowa.Vilsack focused two-thirds of his speech on education priorities, likeputting more state resources into pre-school education and programs whichhelp first-time parents learn how to nuture their children. The Governoralso suggested it was time to extend the length of the school day AND theschool year.Vilsack warned the price for being satisfied with the status quo wouldbe a state which doesn’t grow. Vilsack made his comments before about 500employees of the Southeast Polk School District.
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