The Issues

We should spend less than projected revenue

In the 2011 legislative session we were finally able to pass a balanced budget in spite of a lot of stalling and opposition from the Democrats. It did not take quite as long in 2012 and 2013 but we still had to stand firm insisting on a budget that spends less than the revenue that the State receives.The Senate leaders finally agreed to that limit on spending. I will continue to work in the Senate to hold down spending. Unfortunately, we had a small deficit in fiscal 2015 and the state used some of the surplus from prior years to make up the difference. Increased Medicaid costs account for much of the shortfall. I voted against nearly all the budget bills for fiscal 2015, fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2017 because of the likely deficits. We have had balanced budgets since the 2017 legislative session. I helped pass a responsible budget for the 2022 fiscal year that leaves us a cushion so we will not have a deficit, even if revenues are less than the estimates that we had to work with.

Iowa needs a business climate that allows small business to prosper and provide jobs we desire
We must keep spending and taxes under control allow our families and small businesses to prosper.  The key to excellent schools, roads and bridges and other things we all desire is a growing economy.  Out of control spending and high taxes, along with heavy-handed regulations stifle growth and reduce tax revenues in the long run.  The key to keeping our young people in Iowa is economic opportunity, whether as entrepreneurs or employees. In the 2018 session we passed the largest tax cut in state history. Even so we expect a surpluss at the end of the current fiscal year.
Iowa children deserve a world-class education
We all want the best education possible for our children. Parents should have choices in education the same as in other areas. We need good salaries for our teachers, especially math and science teachers.  Good salaries alone will not guarantee the kind of results we all desire, however.  We must have accountability, rewarding teachers who do exceptional work and weeding out teachers who are below par. Support for classroom teachers, more parental involvement and better discipline are also needed. Since I have been in the Iowa legislature we have never cut K-12 spending. The last cut was when Chet Culver was governor and implemented a 10% across the board spending cut.         
                          
These are exciting and challenging times for Iowa Agriculture
Agriculture is a huge industry here in Iowa.  American farmers provide the safest and cheapest food supply in the world. The increasing demand for ethanol and bio-diesel are creating additional demand for our corn and soybeans. The potential is there for increasing exports of both grains and meat products, particularly to Asian nations. We must continue to promote these products and keep working to lower barriers that limit the exports of our products. We should continue looking for opportunities to add value to our products before exporting them. Of course the recent declines in commodity prices is cause for concern.                     
 
Capital Punishment should be restored for child rapists who kill their victims                        
Current Iowa law provides for a life sentence for someone who rapes a child.  If the rapist murders his victim the penalty is still life in prison. This creates a situation where a rapist may think it is to his advantage to murder his victim so that he is less likely to be identified.  There is no increased penalty.  Where the perpetrator can be identified with certainty through DNA testing or fingerprints, he should be subject to the death penalty.    

We must preserve our second amendment rights
Liberals are always trying to restrict our second amendment rights. We must oppose those efforts. We will continue to work on an amendment to the Iowa constitution similar to the federal second amendment. Iowa is one of the few states without such a constitutional provision.