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MASON CITY | Mason City's Cabin Coffee Co. was packed Wednesday afternoon with North Iowans and local politicians wanting to hear Gov. Kim Reynolds summarize her Condition of the State address from Tuesday.

Reynolds highlighted the importance of education statewide, along with assisting K-12 students with job training outside of the traditional K-12 format.

"We want children to know at the earliest age they have options," she said in a speech to the approximately 35 people in attendance. 

Both Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg noted there is great opportunity for job growth statewide, with hundreds of jobs being added in several small towns.

Several in attendance questioned Reynolds about her proposed budget, and the negative impact it could have on different sectors. One woman asked about how mental health facilities would continue to assist those in need, despite a shortage of beds.

Reynolds answered that the shortage isn't the problem, but rather better allocating resources.

"It's not really a shortage of beds," Reynolds responded. "It's the type of beds."

In an interview with reporters after her speech, she questioned Democrats who weren't happy with where the state is headed, noting Iowa is a great place to work and live, and that job growth is evident.

She also addressed the fact that her current budget proposes $1.81 million in cuts to community colleges, which could hurt institutions like North Iowa Area Community College. 

"The fact of the matter is we have to balance our books," Reynolds said about that specific cut. "That means everyone has to pull up their boots and get it done ... they're (community colleges) a big, big piece of the Future Ready Iowa Initiative."

Contact Steve at 641-421-0527 or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.



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