Kim Reynolds was sworn in this morning as Iowa’s 43rd governor, shortly after the resignation of Terry Branstad, the state’s – and the country’s – longest-serving governor. Branstad this morning was sworn in as the new U.S. Ambassador to China.
Reynolds is the first woman to hold the office of Iowa governor, but in a speech following her swearing-in at the Capitol, she said she wants to accomplish more than that while in office. Reynolds outlined four priorities for her administration, all aimed at improving Iowa’s economy and job growth.
The first priority she listed is overhauling the state’s tax code. Reynolds says Iowa taxes are too high, and the code is a patchwork of “exemptions, deductions, and credits”.
“Our tax code should be simple,” she said. “It should be fair, and it should inspire, not inhibit growth. The bottom line is this: A simple, more competitive tax code makes it easier for businesses to grow and expand.”
Reynolds also promised to prioritize renewable energy, K-12 education, and making sure Iowans have skills needed for successful careers. She says her goal by 2025 is for 70% of Iowans to have education or workforce training beyond high school.
“We’re going to build an Iowa where hard-working middle class families can live anywhere in our state and have the skills that they need to find successful careers,” she said.
Reynolds will serve as Iowa’s governor for the 20 months remaining in Branstad’s term. She is expected to run for a full term in 2018.
Tomorrow, Gov. Reynolds is expected to announce whether she will appoint a lieutenant governor. A few weeks ago, Attorney General Tom Miller issued an opinion saying she does not have that authority.