Peter’s weekly newsletter (pdf here) from Feb 23 is below.Â How our state Legislators evaluate bills to identify where priorities and value are best provided in our economic situation is definitely key.Â Peter provides some great perspective on what we do (or rather, don’t do) to ensure that the next generation has the skills they need to manage their personal finances responsibly, and he has put forth a bill to do just that.
The current General Assembly should be doing everything within its means to improve Iowaâ€™s economy. America is experiencing historic downturns in the stock market, housing market, and the banking industry, and unemployment is rising in Iowa and the nation. The primary question that legislators should be asking themselves is what they can do to help improve the economy. Legislators should be asking these three questions when looking at every bill that comes to a vote this session:
- Does this legislation grow Iowaâ€™s economy?
- Does this legislation create more jobs?
- Does this legislation encourage employers to invest in our state?
The Legislature also needs to think about the future generation of Iowans. How can we best help them to attain the skills necessary to succeed in life? I believe that every student in Iowa should receive specific financial literacy education in his/her school. Last year, the Legislature took a good first step in requiring financial literacy to be part of the core curriculum for our schools. However, the Legislature did not go far enough.
The current financial literacy curriculum is not specific enough in nature. I believe every student in Iowa should know how to balance a checkbook, learn the danger of a credit card, the responsibilities regarding a home mortgage, and the merits of saving money. These are skills and knowledge lacking in our society. I have drafted a bill that will do precisely this. The Legislature can take an important step for the future of all Iowans by passing this legislation. Everyday the Legislature needs to work at getting Iowa back to economic prosperity. We also need to keep in mind the next generation of Iowans. It is our job to ensure they do not encounter the same problems we are experiencing. It is every legislatorâ€™s duty to serve all Iowans even the ones who do not yet have the right to vote.