Leopold Center put on chopping block
On Tuesday (April 11), I was happy to welcome Ed Malloy, Mayor of Fairfield, to the Capitol. Malloy was advocating for the support and funding of the Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. I, too, am in favor of moving the state forward in this regard. A problem of this magnitude is going to require significant increased resources, in my opinion. Therefore, I also support the funding of Iowa’s Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.
Students from Fairfield High School were at the Capitol on Tuesday as part of the Iowa Student Learning Institute’s Student Voice Rally. Brandon Winkelman, Dayna Price, and Hermela Gebremariam were here with teacher Kristen Septer advocating for public education.
In my opinion, haste makes waste. For nearly six weeks the Education Appropriations committee has not met. Then, suddenly, we were expected to pass a bill out of Appropriations that was not available to the public when the committee met. Where is the transparency in this action?
I was surprised and dismayed to learn that the Senate and House Republicans have proposed an education budget that reduces most line items by 6.25 percent. The Leopold Center and Iowa Flood Center are stripped of funding completely.
The Leopold Center at Iowa State University was created to identify and develop new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources. It has played an important role in the research and development of sustainable agriculture in Iowa.
Early childhood education, head-start child development, and early childhood literacy programs are all programs proven to be of great value; however the programs that many feel are the best educational uses of dollars spent are all drastically reduced in this budget proposal. These cuts will have a great impact on our future needs. It is not just kicking the can down the road; it is placing a huge boulder in the road to success of many children in my opinion.
– State Rep. Curt Hanson represents Iowa House District 82, which includes most of Jefferson County and Davis and Van Buren counties, in the state Legislature.