Governor Reynolds. (RI file photo)

Governor Kim Reynolds will deliver the annual “Condition of the State” address to the legislature this evening. During remarks at a Monday morning GOP fundraiser, Reynolds told Republican lawmakers she’ll outline “big ideas” tonight.

“We ran as unapologetic conservatives,” Reynolds said, “and not only did Iowans approve of the job that we’re doing, they gave us a mandate to continue to be bold and to continue to be decisive.”

Lawmakers expect Reynolds to unveil a new, more expansive plan to give parents state money to cover private school expenses. Reynolds is featured touting “school choice” in a new TV ad financed by a conservative political action committee. Senate GOP Leader Jack Whitver has made clear Republicans in the Senate will support ‘”school choice” in 2023.

“If it’s good to have a choice in preschools and community colleges and in apprenticeships and four-year colleges and universities, then Iowa K-12 parents and students should have the choice to choose the school that’s best for their family,” Whitver said.

Democrats have opposed the governor’s private school plans in each of the past two years and Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls said they will again in 2023.

“It will magnify inequality and it will hit rural communities the hardest,” Wahls says, “forcing more school consolidation and driving more families away from our small towns.”

House Speaker Pat Grassley has said he’s “optimistic” House Republicans will approve an education reform package that includes state funds for parents who enroll their kids in a private school.

Radio Iowa