Senator and Democratic governor candidate, Nate Boulton, visited Perry on Aug. 7 to talk to residents about his policies and answer questions. Perry residents filled the Perry Public Library for a meet and greet with the Senator.
Boulton focused on two main points throughout the night; education and Iowa worker’s rights.
After being a worker’s rights attorney for the past 12 years, Boulton has many concerns with the protection and rights of Iowa’s workers.
Boulton spoke about fighting for people’s rights, worker’s compensation, benefits and quality medical that people deserve, fighting for people wrongly terminated due to their age, gender, ethnicity and fighting for people who have been sexually harassed in the workplace. He also said that in his campaign he will be standing up for labor unions negotiating fair contracts and fair wages and benefits for the work that Iowans do.
He asked the citizens of Perry to think about how we as Iowans can boost our economy while also helping out climate change.
A third of the state of Iowa already makes its energy from renewable resources. Boulton hopes with the help of skilled and educated Iowans, to see that number go up to 50 percent of the state by 2025. Boulton also said he hopes locally made solar panels and wind turbines will help increase this percentage and that it will also create jobs for Iowans, as well as a better economy for the state.
“We’re doing the things that will advance the economy long term, not just planning for the next 20 months, but for the next 20 years,” Boulton said.
At the beginning of the meet and greet, Boulton spoke about how in the last seven years, Iowa schools have been underfunded below the rate of inflation.
Boulton wants the funding of Iowa education to be a priority again. He asked the audience to think about what it would be like to have another generation of quality teachers to help teach Iowa’s future of quality skilled workers.
Boulton wants to make sure we have a successful education system and one we are proud of.
As the issues of homeschooling have come into question recently, Perry citizens raised their concerns. They also raised their concerns about Governor Branstad’s 2013 Independent Private Instruction (IPI) reform. A reform which says anyone who is home schooled does not need to file anything, get a supervising teacher, need to submit a year-end assessment (unless they want to), need to submit immunization information, doesn’t need to submit blood lead testing and are not required to provide any specific number of days of instruction.
Boulton believes that homeschooling is something taxpayers should be paying for, but like the audience, his biggest concern in the IPI reform.
“That’s seeing push back right now (IPI reform),” Boulton said. “The fact that children are being pulled off the radar through that initiative. We’ve seen two children die of starvation as a result of being taken completely off the grid.”
Boulton also mentioned that he knows Senator McCoy is working on an initiative that would at least require check-ins on home schooled children.
Boulton also briefly addressed a few more issues including water quality and minimum wage.
After coming from a heritage farm himself, Boulton recognizes the issues that water quality has on rural and urban Iowans alike. He believes that there is a lot of potential for both parties to work on this issue together to come up with a solution which will give rural Iowans just as much of a voice on the issue.
As for minimum wage, Boulton believes that it should be increased to $15.00. He told the audience he would introduce a bill that would allow the wages to get there, eventually.
“I think it’s a problem when Iowa workers are being paid less that five of our six neighboring states.”
With his bill, Boulton would be able to get minimum wage up to $15 by 2024.
Perry (Dallas County) were Boulton’s 40th stop on his campaign trail through the state.