Governor Kim Reynolds will deliver the annual “Condition of the State” address at 6 p.m. tonight. During a speech early Monday morning, Reynolds may have given a preview of her general evaluation of the state’s status.
“This past year has been challenging, it’s been unprecedented, and it’s been unpredictable: a global pandemic; civil unrest; a drought; derecho; a contentious, hard-fought election cycle,” Reynolds said, “and every day I continue to be inspired by the strength and tenacity and the compassion of Iowans.”
The governor told her fellow Republican the pandemic has exposed some “vulnerabilities,” but she did not cite specifics. She did announce last week that her “Invest in Iowa” tax plan was still on hold, due to uncertainty about the pandemic’s impact on state tax revenue.
“If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that leadership matters,” she said yesterday. “It matters at the local level, the state and the federal level, so let’s continue to lead with bold ideas, creative solutions and results.”
Reynolds starts 2021 with a larger Republican majority in the legislative branch. During her speech at yesterday’s GOP fundraiser in Des Moines, she emphasized the importance of Republicans continuing to work together “as a team.”
“Keep fighting. Get out there,” said Reynolds, who is likely to seek reelection in 2022. “Let’s keep the ground game going and let’s keep showing not only Iowans, but this country that Iowa will continue to lead and do the right thing.”
Reynolds will be presenting her proposed budget to lawmakers as well today. She has been emphasizing the status quo budgets lawmakers have approved over the past two years as the reason the State of Iowa didn’t face massive budget shortfalls during the pandemic.
“Because of conservative budgeting (practices), a diverse economy, and our decision to keep over 80% of our businesses open and our workers working, we closed Fiscal year ’20 with our cash reserves full and a $305 million surplus,” Reynolds said to her fellow Republicans.
The scheduling for tonight’s prime time “Condition of the State” address is a departure from precedent. The speech is traditionally delivered to a joint session of the House and Senate at 10 a.m. Reynolds said last week she hopes to reach a larger audience with the evening time slot.