Name: Mark Lofgren
Office running for: State Senate District 46
Current Position: Real Estate Agent at RE/MAX Professionals
What are the biggest issues you feel should be addressed? What steps would you take to correct/ impact these issues?
The biggest issues affecting our state include:
- Equity in Education Funding
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Job Creation
- Water Quality
Most of these issues go hand in hand and if we fail in one area it will affect another. An educated workforce known for its great, Iowa work ethic will help attract employers. We know from our neighbors in Illinois, that irresponsible management of the state budget not only drives away employers but our young people too. For all to prosper we must make sound budget decisions. Job creation becomes much easier when our people are educated, our state finances are good, our young people see opportunity, and companies find a great environment to grow.
By simplifying our Iowa tax code, creating a reasonable regulatory environment, and tightening our oversight of current economic development programming, we can work to create a competitive setting that encourages companies to locate in our fine state and that cultivates the soil for current Iowa businesses to expand and invest. I’ve said many times that our greatest economic tool is our fiscally sound Iowa budget. We now need to highlight it and build upon it to move our state forward both in our involvement in our national market as well as the world marketplace. I would like to see us work to expand access to job training and apprenticeships, continue to bring our median income up and work to maintain our standings of 4th in the country in net exports and 7th in job growth. These statistics highlight some of the favorable outcomes from our Iowa Economic Development Authority and with continued work, we can create a self sustaining atmosphere and free up funding for other areas of need.
Water Quality will be an important topic in the upcoming session. The Iowa Water Quality Initiative, established in 2013 to help implement the Nutrient Reduction Strategy has helped move us in the right direction. However there is still work to be done. Decisions must be made on best practices as well as avenues for funding. Bipartisan discussions must take place and a consensus on what is best for Iowans needs to be reached. With 1/3 of our economy based on agriculture, and recent REC estimates for fiscal year 2017 being lowered by $71.9 million due to declining commodity prices, we must be cautious of overburdening our Iowa farms. Iowa farmers are already good stewards of the land.
What would you like voters to know about you?
I am a husband, father, and grandfather. I’ve owned two successful small businesses and have represented you as your twice-elected state representative. I am a man of my word. I will be present and engaged when I represent each of you. I firmly believe our greatest days are yet to come!
I firmly believe that in order to represent the people well, it is necessary to listen. I’ve knocked on nearly every door in the district and I’ve listened. I’ve met with Democrats, Independents and Republicans. I understand your concerns, and have turned them into my top priorities.