From Senator Rich Taylor

Written by Theresa Rose on May 29, 2015

KEEPING HIGHER ED AFFORDABLE WILL STRENGTHEN IOWA ECONOMY

For many, school does not stop with high school graduation. Increasingly, good jobs require higher education or worker training. Iowans of all ages and backgrounds need access to college to build a better future for themselves and their families.

Ideally, these opportunities should be as affordable as possible. Taking on massive student debt is another roadblock to achieving success, to strengthening our middle class and to growing our economy.

Iowa students already graduate with more student loan debt than in most other states. That leads some graduates to leave the state in search of higher paying jobs elsewhere. Yet the Republican House disagrees with us on the importance of college funding.

Community colleges work with employers to address local skilled worker shortages and provide an affordable path to a four-year degree. Senate Democrats propose investing $8 million more in Iowa’s community colleges. House Republicans oppose any increase.

At our three state universities, there will be a tuition freeze for in-state students for a third straight year under the Senate’s budget proposal. Senate Democrats also support an increase in tuition grants for Iowa students attending our private colleges.

In contrast, the budget plan approved by the House Republicans would force students to pay even more for their college education. The House budget actually cuts funding for the University of Iowa, Iowa State and need-based grants to Iowans attending our private colleges.

The budget approved by the Senate Democrats proves we can invest in education at all levels and balance the budget responsibly. We do it with an overall budget the same size as the budget proposed by Republican Governor Terry Branstad.

Additional information

This is a legislative update from Senator Rich Taylor, representing Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties. For newsletters, photos and further information, go to www.senate.iowa.gov/senator/taylor.

To contact Senator Taylor during session, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise he can be reached at home at 319-931-1568. E-mail him at rich.taylor@legis.iowa.gov.

Senator Taylor is chair of the Local Government Committee. He also serves on the Economic Growth, Human Resources, Judiciary, and Justice Systems Budget committees.