Iowans’ Ideas are guest columns featuring the views of different Iowans.
As policies and legislation come across my desk, a few things cross my mind. How would this bill affect today, tomorrow and the next generation of Iowans?
I have remarked on the Senate floor how my goal each session is not to pass bills to improve the state for the next month or the next year, but to improve Iowa for the next generation.
When I speak of the next generation, of course, I am thinking about my three children and how I share the same goal of any parent: I want to create a better world for them.
I want to make sure they have all the tools they
need to thrive and succeed and prepare them for the ever-changing world. I want the world to be a better place for them, and an even better place for their kids.
Securing freedoms and growth
I believe the best policies for my children and their children are policies to increase their freedom and ensure their God-given liberties are not infringed by their government. Those freedoms have propelled America from a loose confederation of states struggling for independence into the most powerful and wealthy country in the history of the world.
During the last four years, that goal has been at the forefront of the agenda for my colleagues in the Iowa Senate and me.
In these times of crisis, people often look to leaders for direction and guidance. I have only one direction in mind, and that direction is forward.
My goal is growth for this state.
I want it to be easy to start and build a business here. Iowa should be the best state for getting an education to prepare the next generation both for challenges in life and for success. The state of Iowa should be a place where each and every person who decides to call it home can succeed and build a life that is meaningful to them.
My goals are not different than they were several years ago, but now they are more urgent. While the Legislature has been working throughout these last several years to ensure the policies being put into place were going to allow for more growth in this state and make it attractive for businesses and families, the results from this work were strong.
Before COVID-19 changed our everyday lives, Iowa had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. It had one of the best graduation rates for high school students.
Wages were growing as job creators competed for talent and offered higher pay to convince people looking for work to choose a career with their company. Iowa had thousands more job openings than people looking for work.
The policies of the last several years were working, and the proof was evident in the lives of Iowans.
The economic impact of the coronavirus has left families across this state struggling, and many Iowans are now unemployed. The policies and ideas the Legislature has pursued are even more important.
People want to get back to work, they want to support themselves and their families. Iowans are hard workers and are familiar with challenge and difficulty.
While this time has posed significant challenges for Iowans all across our state, I am confident in continuing to pursue the ideas and policies implemented over the last several years, Iowa can once again be the state with the lowest unemployment rate, rising wages, excellent schools and the best place to live, work and raise a family.
State Sen. Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, is Iowa Senate majority leader.