Governor Tom Vilsack delivered his annual “Condition of the State” message this morning.Vilsack is declaring Iowa better off than its neighbors and outlined his proposals to grow Iowa’s economy. He began by paying tribute to heroes of the past and present who defended our freedom. He says terrorist filled with hatred tried on September 11th to “destroy the blessings of liberty,” but succeeded only in uniting us. Vilsack said it’s up to elected politicians to protect the security of Iowans. He says the “blessings of liberty” can be destroyed by illiteracy, ill health of the inability to earn a decent living.He noted what he called heartening improvements in student performance, due in part to the effort to reduce class sizes in the elementary grades. He says after 10 years of decline, elementary reading comprehension scores have gone up. Vilsack says the results are just the beginning, but reflect the wisdom of investing in our children.Vilsack noted what “prudent” steps he and legislators have taken in the last three years to stimulate Iowa’s economy. Among the examples, “Vision Iowa” is handing out millions of dollars for large-scale community attractions.Vilsack vowed that education will remain priority one. He says they face the challenge of “governing in hard times where the challenge is not to apportion great bounty, but how to manage scarce resources.”Vilsack also addressed a group of lobbyists in the audience that were there to speak out against factory farms. He promised to work with the legislature to find a solution to the issue.
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