State Representative Candidate: Curt Hanson
After three years of serving in the Iowa House of Representatives, incumbent Curt Hanson believes he’s gained both momentum and his constituents’ trust.
“They know me, they know I listen to them,” he said.
And Hanson said he knows how to deliver what his constituents need: a stronger education system, affordable energy, and revitalized local economies and job creation.
Hanson said he is proud of helping to pass a ban on texting while driving in Iowa, and of taking a part in balancing the state budget during a historic recession. He said the state faced tough choices in reallocating and cutting funds.
“We had drastically shrinking revenue,” he said. “The budget cuts were necessary.”
If re-elected, Hanson said he’d continue to help keep the budget balanced without raising taxes, as well as focus on job creation. He said he’d focus on the commercial property tax code, Main Street incentives, and the state’s education system as means of promoting business.
Hanson said Iowa needs to focus on training its residents for high-tech jobs to stay competitive with countries such as China and India’s programs, especially in medicine.
“We live in a rapidly changing world,” he said. “We must be ready to accept it, be a part of it and lead it, otherwise we’ll be a victim to it.”
Attending a four-year college program is not always the answer, said Hanson. Many jobs in medicine or energy require specialized training, which could be attained through community college programs. In medicine, he said there’s a demand for more nurse practitioners, therapists and dental workers. If re-elected, Hanson said he’d focus on keeping community college and state universities affordable so Iowans would be posed for the future.
Helping pass the ban on texting bill in 2010 was a learning experience in how to negotiate with others in the state Legislature. Hanson’s 43 years of experience as a driver’s education teacher in the Fairfield school district made him especially passionate about driver safety.
“I learned that getting something to move forward is very difficult,” he said. “We ended up crafting a bill agreed upon by all parties.”
He said he learned to compromise during the process. The bill is not a primary offense for instance — police officers need another reason to pull over the vehicle. The penalty for all ages is a $30 fine, with harsher penalties if in an accident causes serious injury or death.
“It was a compromise bill, which is the way we work in America,” he said. “My way or the highway is not going to work in a family, a marriage or in government.”
Hanson said he’s been able to work well with others in the house because he has little ideology driving his decisions, saying he’s more practical.
“My politics are more middle of the road,” he said. “I don’t hold rigid, hard views.”
He said he’s developed strategies for compromise and civil discourse.
“You have to accept ideas and discuss differences, but always concentrate on areas of agreement,” he said.
Hanson sticks to his “middle of the road” values when it comes to deregulation.
“I’ll work to eliminate regulatory waste,” he said, “But I’m caught between deregulation and accountability, which directly oppose one another.”
Hanson is in favor of renewable energy resources like wind, solar and biofuels. He also is excited about a geothermal tax credit bill passed in the spring in Iowa. Geothermal heat pumps installed on residential property in Iowa are eligible for a property tax credit equal to 20 percent of the Federal Tax Credit for geothermal. The bill also offers an income tax credit.
“Geothermal is highly effective and lowers your carbon footprint,” he said.
Hanson said he wants to continue his work as a state representative out of a desire to help the people he represents.
“In this job I’m learning all the time and helping people,” he said. “As a teacher, you always want to help people.”