The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Politics

November 3, 2006

Iowa House District 26

Polly Bukta

Party: Democrat; Age: 69

Residence: Clinton

Occupation: Retired educator, incumbent state representative

Political experience: Five terms in the Iowa General Assembly

Education: B.S. in elementary education, graduate work in English

Family: Husband Mike, two sons, one grandchild



What are the three most important issues in this race?

Making Iowa the “Green State,” learning and job training, business and workers.



What is your approach to these issues?

My approach would depend on if I am in the majority. If so, the Democratic Caucus will be setting the agenda and introducing much of our proposed priorities as original legislation. If not, I would likely be achieving my goals through the amendment process, or by seeking accommodations by forming partnerships and collaborations among my peers.

Iowa is at the mercy of price-gouging oil companies and volatile foreign governments. Because Iowa has energy alternatives — corn-based ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, soy-based diesel, biomass and wind energy, we can begin to break the stranglehold on our economy. Thousands of good jobs can be created and provide more national security through less reliance on foreign oil.

Young children need access to stimulating child care and preschool so they are prepared when they enter elementary school. Once in school, youngsters must be challenged with a rigorous curriculum that demands their best performance. To achieve this goal, we must have bright, highly qualified teachers.

College has become less affordable because in-state tuitions have increased by more than 50 percent in the past few years. We must lower tuition costs and limit future increases. Work-study programs should be expanded to help students pay their college costs.

We must expand job training and retraining opportunities at community colleges, including specialized business-specific training for our high-tech workers of the future. We also must give small businesses the power to pool their workforces so they have the ability to obtain cheaper health insurance rates for themselves and their employees and reduce commercial property taxes on Iowa businesses without shifting taxes to homes and farms, with the goal of making Iowa more competitive with states in our region.

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