03 Oct 2014 — 03:20 PM
With elections just a month away, we spoke with Democrat Chris Hall, who is running for re-election for Iowa House District 13. We asked about the issues that are most important to him and the ones he wants to continue to support if he is re-elected.
"I was really optimistic that it would have passed last year and I'm really frustrated that it didn't," said State Representative Chris Hall.
Hall is not ready to give up. He got involved with anti-bullying legislation after being approached by a mom whose daughter was being tormented at school. His proposed legislation would have made the bullies' parents more accountable. Parents, he says, who were unwilling to prevent another student from being victimized.
"Awareness is the most important piece. Legislation is not the silver bullet," said Hall. "It's not going to solve bullying, it's not going to put an end to it but it's something that has the potential to support structures that are already in place, and it has the potential to help educators and help school administrators do their job more effectively."
Hall says his concern is for those being bullied who feel they have no choice but to take the worst route possible to deal with the situation – suicide.
Hall says a lot of leg work has been done to revise a 2007 law that didn't include use of social media and electronics that is used in bullying and harassment. And he will continue to work with those who shot down the bill last year to move forward to protect Iowa's youth. Also of importance to Hall is continuing the work to ensure everyone has access to affordable child care and preschool education.
He says providing incentives like tax credits to providers, or to working families, may be a way to help the working and middle class families.
And he wants to ensure high school grads have the ability to not only get a higher education, but can graduate without such significant debt that they can't ever buy a home.
Of the items Hall has been successful in helping pass in the Iowa legislature, is the legislation that brings advanced manufacturing and middle skills but high income jobs to the state.
Jobs like the ones CF industries brought to the area.
Hall says during his time at the Iowa legislature he helped to create or retain more than 1,600 jobs and more than one hundred fifteen million dollars to his hometown of Sioux City.
And he says there's more he wants to do. Such as helping Iowans who serve in the military.
"We want to provide them with what they were promised going in," said Hall. "We want to make sure that they come home and they've got access to mental health care if they need it or they've got an opportunity to further their education and career. Those are the basic tenants of what we promise people who go into armed services and it should not be a partisan issue."
And finally, Hall says if re-elected, he will continue to ensure Iowa keeps a balanced budget.
"Each of the four years I served, we've had a balanced budget and each of the four years we've actually had a surplus. With one chamber being democratic and one chamber being republican, voters like to know they can count on the Iowa legislature to steer clear of some of the hardcore and divisive issues that they might be seeing at the federal level," said Hall.
Hall also talked about what it is like to work in a chamber where he is the minority, and he discussed the issue of trying to get the Iowa legislature to finish Highway 20. Unfortunately we can't address every topic here that Hall spoke about. But you can still hear what he had to say on those other topics. We've put the full interview on our website, siouxlandnews.com
Look for the Know Your Candidate tab under our "news" section.