Dr. Steve Bradley began his term as a member of the Iowa House of Representatives Jan. 11. He represents District 58, which covers Jackson County, more than half of Jones County and part of Dubuque County near Cascade.
“I just want to represent everybody in my district,” Bradley said. “That’s the main thing I want to do; whatever they would like. This isn’t about what I want; it’s what everybody else wants. I want to represent everybody. Everybody wants a strong economy; everybody wants to pay less taxes. I think that especially out in the Cascade area, district 58 Maquoketa, Bellevue, St. Donatus, and all the little towns like Anamosa and Monticello, we like a strong farm economy. When the farmers do well, everybody else does well.”
Bradley’s new responsibilities have reduced the amount of time he can personally devote to his dental practice.
“We were really busy,” he said. “I go home at night and just fall asleep. While I’m in session, I’ll be down in Des Moines Monday through Thursday, come back, and practice on Fridays. This morning, I had 188 new emails, and that’s what I’m getting every single day on my legislative email list, and that’s just starting. I’m sure I’m going to get more, and that’s OK.”
According to Bradley, one of his top priorities is to keep the Iowa economy running smoothly, a task he says has been made a lot easier by the state’s responsible spending in the past.
He said, “If we keep the economy going, everything runs well. We keep taxes down, keep everybody working, that’s a big thing. Our unemployment rate is fairly low compared to other states. Our state is the best state money-wise in the country. We have 300 million in reserve, we don’t owe anybody, and that helped us survive this COVID-19. That’s a big thing that we had enough set aside because we always balance the budget. Compared to other states that are way in debt, and that will probably never get out, Iowa is the envy of the country. It’s like your personal budget. You spend more than what you make, you’re going to get into trouble. If you don’t spend more than you make, you’re fine, and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing in Iowa. We’re very conservative with our money and watch what we’re doing.”
In addition to the economy, Bradley supports continued improvements and promotion of the Iowa education system and broadband internet.
“They’re going to expand the broadband and try to get it to cover the whole state of Iowa,” he said. “I think that’s a major thing. I also think opening up schools is a major thing. The governor is talking about vouchers, and I think that’s probably a good thing as well. Look at our education system, it’s very good. We’re always first, second, or third on the ACT scores. We do a very good job of educating our kids, and we want to keep that. I want us to be number one all the time, not just two or three. I think our teachers are very bright. The only thing I don’t like is that we educate people in college and they move away.”
Bradley says that he is working with the rest of the Iowa government to bring an end to the pandemic by distributing vaccines.
He said, “We want to get back to normal as soon as possible. We want to get the vaccine out and get it to as many that want it as possible. That’s what we’re trying to work on.”
While officially the representative of only one Iowa district, Bradley considerers it his job to look out for everyone in the state, not just those who elected him.
“I don’t only serve my district,” he said, “I serve everybody in Iowa. That’s how I look at it. We all live here, and we all work together. We have a great state, and we want to keep it great.”