State Rep. Ann Meyer doesn’t have an opponent in November, but that doesn’t mean she’s taking the upcoming general election lightly.
The Republican from Fort Dodge held a rally Thursday evening at which two of the top state Republican leaders, Gov. Kim Ryenolds and Speaker of the House Pat Grassley, reminded local residents about all the things their party has achieved in state government.
Speaking to about, 100 people at the Community Orchard, Reynolds praised Meyer’s track record over her first two terms in office.
“She loves her community,” Reynolds said. “She gets things done. She’s leading on health care, mental health, child care. She’s a consensus builder. She really brings common sense to the table. “
The governor said that under Republican leadership there have been three tax cuts since she took office in 2018. She said that starting next year, Iowa will not tax retirement income.
Reynolds said Iowa has turned “unemployment into re-employment,” with the result that unemployment is now at 2.6 percent and the state’s labor participation rate of working age people is 68 percent.
Reynolds also said Republicans are “Putting parents back in charge of their children’s education.”
“They should be deciding what the best environment is for their children to learn in, and that doesn’t mean we don’t have a strong public school system,” she said.
Reynolds had proposed diverting some money from state aid to public to parents who meet certain income guidelines so that they could use that money to send their children to private schools. The plan was opposed by legislative Democrats and some Republicans, and did not pass in this year’s legislative session. Reynolds then endorsed some primary election challengers to the Republicans who opposed the plan, and those challengers defeated the incumbents.
Grassley, of New Hartford, urged local Republicans to avoid becoming complacent. He said there is still time for an opponent to Meyer to emerge.
“The state of Iowa is on the right track and the federal government and what we see there is the wrong track,” he said.
Meyer talked about the work she has done in the state Capitol on health care.
“I am pretty much laser-focused on health care,” she said.
She successfully passed a bill this year that will create 12 new residencies in psychiatry through the University of Iowa. A residency is that part of a doctor’s training in which they learn a specialty. Iowa ranks 44th in the country for available pyschiartrists, and this program will eventually yield 12 new psychiatrists a year.
The evening concluded with Meyer presenting Reynolds with a birthday cake and the crowd singing “Happy Birthday ‘to her.