Decision 2020: Norlin Mommsen, incumbent candidate, Iowa House of Representatives District 97
(KWQC) - Note: TV6 reached out to state and federal candidates with a list of questions aimed at helping voters make an informed decision in the 2020 General Election.
The questionnaires will be posted to our special election website, www.kwqc.com/decision2020.
TV6 does not endorse any candidates.
Name: Norlin Mommsen
Education: East Central High School, Attended Iowa State’s Farm Operations Program
Experience: 6 years as State Representative for HD97, past director of the Clinton County Farm Bureau, past director of the Great River Threshers, past chairman of St. John’s Lutheran Church, past member of community ambulance service, past member of the Miles Area Lions, member of the DeWitt FFA Alumni.
Election website/social media: Facebook, www.facebook.com/norlin.mommsen.7
What is the most important issue facing the state of Illinois, and how would you address it if elected?
The recent pandemic has highlighted two very important issues facing the state of Iowa, these are childcare and broadband. With schools going remote learning many parents struggled to find daycare for their children while they returned to work. I believe that it will be necessary for the state to develop private-public partnerships to address this issue. Another option would be to give business tax breaks to help cover part of the expense to create and operate a daycare for a business’s employees. Also, when remote learning became necessary due to the pandemic, the shortcomings of our broadband system in areas of the state became highlighted. With the success of our REC’s, I feel that this business model can be used to bring broadband service to all areas of the state with some assistance from the state.
How do you rate the nation/state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic so far? What would you do differently, and why?
I would rate the nation’s and state’s response as very good. The Governor has done a very good job treating the hot spots while allowing the state to reopen in other areas. If it becomes necessary to put some restrictions back in place, I would suggest to the Governor to reevaluate how the state addressed the closure of many of our small businesses. Maybe looking at a square footage per person allowed in a business would allow for social distancing and allow a business to stay open. It seems to be a contradiction when it is unsafe to purchase clothing on main street, but it is ok at the big box store.
What will you do or advocate to help those who are out of work and those who are in need of housing?
It is extremely important that the state provide immediate assistance for those out of work or requiring housing. Once these immediate needs are met then assistance through our community college system must be made available. As our society adjusts to the post-pandemic Iowa it may be necessary for Iowans to refine their skills. The most important role the state plays is to make sure there are high paying jobs available.
Recent Pew Research data shows 49% of voters expect to have difficulty casting a ballot for the November election. What is your reaction to this belief, and what needs to be done?
Iowa has a very secure voting system. Our absentee ballots must be requested before receiving an actual ballot. This checks and balance system ensures that only qualified voters receive ballots.
There has been a renewed discussion, both locally, statewide, and nationally, about policing reform since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Do you think reforms are needed and, if so, what might those changes look like?
Iowa has already addressed necessary policing reforms. When we reconvened after the pandemic break, the Governor along with the legislature leadership met with all concerned parties to address reforms. Once all parties agreed to the necessary reforms, the Legislature quickly came together to debate and pass necessary reforms. One of my most prized possessions is the picture of the Governor signing the bill on the steps of the Capital. Iowa was one of the first states to address policing reforms.
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