Government

Reynolds talks staff change and taxes in Waterloo

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds visits with the lunch crowd Friday at SingleSpeed Brewing in Waterloo. The governor, who is touring the state, praised the new income tax bill and her outgoing and incoming chiefs of staff. (Photo by Brandon Pollock, Waterloo Courier)
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds visits with the lunch crowd Friday at SingleSpeed Brewing in Waterloo. The governor, who is touring the state, praised the new income tax bill and her outgoing and incoming chiefs of staff. (Photo by Brandon Pollock, Waterloo Courier)

WATERLOO — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday praised her incoming chief of staff, saying he helped her get her agenda through the Legislature.

Reynolds made a noon-hour stop at SingleSpeed Brewing in Waterloo as part of her campaign tour to promote the income tax cut she signed into law earlier this week in Hiawatha.

The day of her visit, her office announced that Chief of Staff Jake Ketzner is departing and Ryan Koopmans will take over the position.

Koopmans came on board when Reynolds was sworn in as governor.

“He was instrumental in me getting every single policy that I talked about in the Condition of the State passed,” Reynolds said. “They’ll be great consistency there.”

The change is coming four days before the Democratic primary decides who will run against Reynolds in November.

“It’s just like any other business or industry, we’re not going to skip a beat,” Reynolds said.

“That’s the official side of the office,” she said. “We’re going to have a campaign side, so they’re completely separate and unrelated.”

Ketzner has worked with Reynolds since 2010 when she and former Gov. Terry Branstad ran for office.

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“Jake has been working with us in different capacities since then,” Reynolds said. “I brought him on to be chief of staff. He did a great job.”

Reynolds said Ketzner and his wife recently had a child.

“It is a very, very demanding schedule. You are basically on call 24/7,” Reynolds said. “I wish him nothing but the best.”

Reynolds praised the income tax bill she signed into law Wednesday.

“We want to create an environment where people continue to invest and grow in the state of Iowa,” Reynolds said. “When we couple it with the federal tax reform and the historic generational tax reform I just signed on Wednesday, virtually every single Iowan is going to see more money in their paycheck.”

Reynold said that bill comes as a response to the impact of Iowa’s federal deductibility resulting from the new tax law signed by President Donald Trump.

“If we had not passed tax reform, all those same people we talked about — those small businesses, those families, workers, farmers — would’ve seen their taxes go up and so we weren’t about to let that happen, so we passed on those savings instead of keeping them,” Reynolds said. “We did it in a responsible and sustainable manner and so we can still honor our priorities of education, health care and public safety.

“I’m not in favor of raising people’s taxes,” Reynolds said. “I signed that bill on behalf of small working families all across the state.”

Reynolds will continue her campaign tour on Saturday in Fort Dodge and Sunday in Urbandale. She’ll finish her tour in Red Oak and Council Bluffs on Monday.

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