116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Sara Yedlik, 45, is the Democratic candidate for House District 84 in the Nov. 8 general election. Yedlick, an educator and member of the Iowa Board of Education Examiners, is seeking her first term in the statehouse.
The Gazette posed a set of questions to all area statehouse candidates. Below is the transcript of Yedlik’s answers. Polls will be open on election day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
What do you think are the three most important issues the state is facing? What would you do to address them?
Yedlik: Well-being of children and families, protecting our rural communities, and loss of local control are the three biggest issues facing our state. I will support policies improving the ability of families to support child health and well-being with investments in nutrition and early child care. For rural communities, I will combat job loss while protecting rural schools from funding cuts. I will resist state efforts to take control away from our local officials.
Do you support the use of eminent domain for CO2 pipelines? Why or why not?
Yedlik: Growing up in a farming family right here in Benton County, I do not support the use of eminent domain for CO2 pipelines. Eminent domain should be used only for the most vital needs and the use of a pipeline for carbon capture has not been proven to be a safe technology.
What restrictions or limitations should be placed on the use of eminent domain for CO2 pipelines?
Yedlik: The utility board should be restricted from using eminent domain on private property for profit. I want to ensure that eminent domain isn't abused and that Iowa landowners can make decisions on what is best for their land. Like the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, eminent domain needs to be used for the common good, not profit.
The state is projected to have a budget surplus of more than $1 billion. What would be your top priorities for that surplus?
Yedlik: We should invest annual budget surpluses in Iowa’s future while maintaining a responsible surplus. The current $1B is excessive. We must remember that the $1B the state has, came from citizens to do the work of the government. A large surplus is just as irresponsible as one that is too small. I support forming a bipartisan study committee to make recommendations on a safe, sustainable level of surplus funds.
What changes — beyond those made in recent sessions — would you like to see made to Iowa's tax code?
Yedlik: I am concerned that the recent changes to the tax code will have negative impacts on the communities of House District 84. City leaders in my local communities are frustrated that current legislators brag about state tax cuts, but rely on reducing city revenues.
I will gain input from my constituents and community leaders in order to make informed decisions on tax code changes that will lessen the negative impacts on our communities.
Under what circumstances should Iowans be able to access abortion services in the state? What if any, exceptions should apply to any abortion bans?
Yedlik: Medical decisions should be left to a patient and the physician caring for them. Politicians cannot foresee the impact their laws have on the practice of medicine, and so I do not support political interventions impacting access to abortion or other medical services. I stand with the majority of Iowans, politicians should not be able to deny a person reproductive health care. Iowans deserve the right to make their own reproductive health care decisions with their doctors and family.
What are your ideas for improving public schools?
Yedlik: Improving educational opportunities in our public schools is paramount for the future of our state. I would support programs designed to recruit and retain teachers. I am in favor of expanding programs such as: Teach Iowa Scholar, Troops to Teachers, Teacher and Paraeducator Apprenticeship programs and others approved by the Board of Educational Examiners.
I would support efforts to establish a comprehensive mental health system to offer preventative and treatment services for the students of Iowa.
I would advocate for setting supplemental state aid within the statutory requirements that sufficiently supports local districts’ efforts to plan, create and sustain world-class schools.
Do you support further use of state funds to help parents pay the costs of non-public schools or home schooling for grades K-12? Why or why not?
Yedlik: As a rural Iowan and educator, I could not support legislation that would use state funds to pay the costs of non-public schools for grades K-12. Educational leaders in House District 84 are against this and I stand with them. These educational funds would be siphoned away from our public schools. Our schools would be forced to cut programming, increase class size, consolidate, or possibly close. Families would be forced to leave our rural communities due to lack of educational opportunities for their children. In result, this would lead to an economic decline of our rural communities.
Should Iowa ban the use of hand-held mobile devices while driving?
Yedlik: Iowans have been committed to improving the safety of our roadways to prevent economic loss, injury, and death. Laws limiting speed, requiring the use of seatbelts, the use of child seats, and introducing penalties for impairment from drugs have accomplished those goals. Banning the use of mobile phones and other devices while driving would be another positive step for public safety.
Should automated traffic cameras be banned?
Yedlik: To ensure that drivers and officers are safe on our Iowa roadways, we must use tools to maintain safe conditions for those on the road. Automated traffic cameras are a viable option to improve public safety on our roadways, but we have to ensure that they are being used for valid reasons.