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tv   The Steele Report  NBC  November 27, 2016 10:00am-10:30am CST

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>> announcer: this is the steele report. >> ron: on the steele report this week, state representative walt rogers and also tavis hall of main street waterloo. our questioning begins right of main street waterloo. our questioning begins right now. captioning provided by caption associates, llc >> announcer: now from kwwl, this is the >> ron: welcome to this week's edition of the steele report. fly guest is familiar to all of you, of course, state representative walt rogers, a 55-year-old state legislators who was just elected to a fourth term out of district 60 which represens balk county, a number blackhawk county. welcome back to the program. you and your wife have been
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three children and ten grandchildren now, so we're hey ahead of me in that area. >> rep. rogers: there a lot of fun. >> ron: you were a rick santorum guy during the big election. what surprised you most about the donald trump victory? >> rep. rogers: well, i think just the amount of people on board with it and when i was out and about door knocking, i had a lot of people tell meth trump fans and not necessarily telling too many people bit, but i was -- a couple weeks before the election, i was starting to get a feel like he was going to win no matter what the polls were saying just because of that. i think really what's clear is people wanted change and, you know, for better or for worse, whatever you think about donald trump, he does bring change. >> ron: and even the -- some of the foreign nations have already said they're looking forward to
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different kind of negotiating atmosphere and scenario where you have a business person coming in for the first time rather than a normal person you think of as a president. that's a good idea in a lot of ways? >> rep. rogers: i think it's a great idea and one of the things i like to donald trump was he was a blue collar worker kind of guy and one reason i liked santorum. donald trump read santorum's book and liked it and he and doad forward to a trump presidency and hopefully we can get good things done. >> ron: and you just defeated gary kroeger to win your fourth term and your race was actually very positive compared to some of the races right in our area that got really nasty, which really surprised me. i'd never seen anything like that, had you, in this area? >> rep. rogers: sometimes when it gets real close, both sides of the aisle, things like that
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negative instead of the positive. i like to be a person that puts out there what my record is, go to as many doors as i possibly can and talk about my record and what i believe is good for iowa and, you know, people, they hear it all the time and i say it all the time, smaller and smaller government. we have work to do in that area and government isn't always getting smaller. in fact, it continues to grow. i feel like we've slowed that growth down, but we got a lot of work to do government is smart and there's a plethora of ideas now. hopefully in the next two years, we get a lot of things done. >> ron: out in pressure is really on. when you saw the senate majority leaders for so many years get knocked off, you got a sense that the evening was going to turn and republicans in iowa were going to take control of the senate, but you're facing again a pretty tight budget and that's always the main concern. i've seen your signs around
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government, and now you have to prove it. >> rep. rogers: well, you're exactly right and it is another tough revenue year. we're going to have somewhere around, you know, 100, $150 million of new money, but we've already got several built-ins taking up much of that new revenue, so it's going to be another tough situation revenue-wise and budget-wise for the state. >> ron: governor branstad's name has come up in a couple of scens, i can't imagine he'd want to leave iowa, but you never know. >> rep. rogers: you never know. he said he wouldn't rule it out, the latest coming from his camp, but what i know, he loves iowa and he loves the legacy he is built coming back in the last six years and putting our budget in a good sound place, so i'd be surprised if he would take something like that. >> ron: perhaps in the back of
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reynoldses in a position to run if he decides not to. he hasn't said yet, but there's speculation out there whether or not he would run for re-election again. so now you have the governorship and the senate and the house. the house is going to be 59-41 and the senate majority -- yrm. >> it's 29. >> ron: that's a big shift and what the education budget is going to look like and what do yo education this year in iowa? what would you like to see? >> rep. rogers: it's going to be another tough year. i look at new revenue and education typically, k-12 education is about 41% of our budget. >> ron: right. >> rep. rogers: so i look at new revenue, the state's new revenue is the $100 million for the sake of easy math, that means weigh don't -- if we wanted to stay status quo on the budget, $41 million would hen go to
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percentage and a half of supplemental state aid or level growth. so my guess is, it's going to be somewhere between one, two, somewhere in there as far as what we would put towards education, and because it's really tight. everybody would love to be able to put more money towards education, but we've also got to fund our roads, we got to fund our officers, we have to fund our healthcare system, you k responsibilities that we've got to take care of here in iowa. >> ron: of course, linda upmier will stay at speaker of the house. chris -- >> rep. rogers: from cedar falls is our majority leader. >> ron: and on the other side, bill dix from shell rock, on this program with you, he takes over at majority leader.
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contention. you'd like to have a committee, right? >> rep. rogers: right, full leadership, i'd like to go a different route, potentially a committee chair and just want to do something different and we'll see. i can't be assured of a committee chair at that point, but i'd like to be considered for that and hopefully that will happen. >> ron: and what do you see as the number one topic, the number one priority, of this legislative session coming up? >> rep. rogers: well, there's so many make sure our budget stays in a good, fiscal, sound place. we presented a paradigm of not spending more money than we take in and we'll continue that. again, that's going to make it tough. water quality continues to be an issue that we all seem to be concerned about and care about. in fact, we put a bill through last year that did not go through the senate, so we have
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but there are a plethora of issues that will be on the table because in the iowa house, we had the majority there and we passed many things that died in the senate, so all those things that we've done in the past will potentially be on the table as something we can get done. >> ron: we're going to take one short break here with representative walt rogers of cedar falls and we'll come back with more. i want to remind you, we're also online. the show in its entirety, even past episodes, on, so check those out and we'll have this program on a short time later. we'll take a break and come back
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>> ron: welcome back to this week's edition of the steele report as we welcome state representative walt rogers of cedar falls, having just won a fourth term in the iowa house. you said you get emails from people telling you what's on their minds, so what are they telling you about top priorities for this upcoming session? >> rep. rogers: just about every making sure the new system with mcos, the managed care organizations is getting fixed. there are issues with that and there are some things that need to be tweaked, and that's an issue. i think -- >> ron: that privatization of medicaid really was -- that seemed to be off to an awfully slow start. >> rep. rogers: there were a couple of things we needed to do, saved millions of dollars for our budget, but anytime you
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brand-new system, there's going to be some issues. we're trying to fix those as we go along. people will email me specifically about those types of issues and i can go straight to the mco and try to get it fixed and they've done a really good job of that, but there are a lot of issues that still need to be addressed in that area. i'm hearing things about, you know, maybe some voter reform. a lot of voter laws were pretty liberalized when the democrats had both ago. i think i'm hearing a lot about maybe some second amendment legislation and pro life legislation. all those things are potentially on the table. i'm hearing several people inquiring about educational savings accounts for -- in the education field, so lots of things that would be paradigm shifts of how we are running some things, but i think that would be good things we should
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going to come back at you again is the cannabis oil and the expansion of iowa's current laws. >> rep. rogers: sure. >> ron: how do you see that as an issue? there are a lot of families in iowa and particularly right here in this area that we've had on the show before to talk about this very important issue. where do you stand on that about an expansion and what do you think iowa should do to help these families? >> rep. rogers: i made it pretty clear i'm not in favor of expanding medical marijuana, but i am in favor of beg better access to the families -- already legal for epilepsy, so i'm very open to looking at legislation to get them better access. we had a bill last year that, you know, both sides apparently didn't like very much and so i think there's a good potential to get something done in that area for better access. >> ron: it would really be great if you could figure out something a compromise that would help the families and their children. that should be the main focus always on that. >> rep. rogers: right and the cbd part of marijuana, there has been some good studies that show
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help. it doesn't help everybody, but it does help some. when you get into the thc was the part that makes people high, that gets into the question as far as how effective it really is. >> ron: one thing i hear about a lot of times is, you know, every time you drive down the road, people are not driving. they're not paying attention, they're on their phones and just distracted driving is becoming more and more of a problem. i can't believe that hasn't risen to a top priorities because it's killing people. >> rep. rogers: distracted drivis think that would come up in this next session and how we handle that will be something we talk about. a plethora of ideas to get to that, and so i would hope that technology could catch up to us and we'd get the technology where as soon as you get in yur car, it goes to bluetooth and it's taken care of. we have to look at that. >> ron: what have you enjoyed the most about being in the louse? you go down there and if you're
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done right away, that's probably not the place for it. i'm wondering, are you a patient person? obviously you are? >> rep. rogers: i do like the teamwork and the camaraderie with the fellow legislators i work with. you do have to be patient. you can't get things done quickly, but we have to sit in meetings and strategize how we are going to pass something and what's the potential and how is this strategy good for iowa. i like that aspect of it and i like hearing from the constituents and putting that into play. >> ron: so you'll bego what's the first thing you want to accomplish when you get there, the last 30 seconds? >> rep. rogers: well, you know, i'm pretty sure we'll be able to get something on state aid or allowable growth within 30 dayses about we've had a problem getting that because we've had a split legislature, but now that we have both the house and senate in republican control, we should be able to get that done fairly quickly. >> ron: at least the schools know that. and of course uni funding is
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done as soon as we can. >> ron: that's good news. thanks to state representative walt rogers, i appreciate having you here on the show.
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that's next. >> ron: right now on the steele report, i'd like to introduce to you tavis hall, the fairly new executive director of main street waterloo, having taken over for long time director jeff kurtz. he left our state.
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the outreach coordinator for congressman bruce braley. by the time this airs, it would have been last night you had a big event downtown. tell me about that. >> hall: it's a great event. winter wonder'loo. we moved it, traditional mid december, but we moved it to small business saturday with so much national promotion. prying to improve retail sales complut the distric a tree lighting ceremony, concert from west high school choir, kids crafts and kids shopping for a dollar, so it's a great event. really does get families moving throughout the district. >> ron: it's great for the cedar valley because you have thanksgiving and then you had holiday hoopla. tell me about some of the thanks this main street waterloo is most concerned about with the city. your job obviously is to promote the area and when we hear newt
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absolutely cringe. >> hall: it's -- sometimes we hear things, and, oh, maybe we shouldn't do it this way or do it that way. downtown as incredibly safe place, but we're its own city. $70 million of commerce. there would be 2100 people living and 5500 working throughout the day. our crime rate would be less communities, so when you think of an oelwein, you don't necessarily think of a dangerous community. however, our crime rate in downtown waterloo is less by every measurable statistic and than some of those other communities, so it really is, it's a part of a narrative as a whole the city has to get beyond. i know there's efforts from city hall not just specifically downtown, but all over the city,
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on and to disprove some of thoet mists about crime that plague -- those myths about crime that maug our city. >> ron: waterloo is a progressive city now with the first african american mayor in quentin hart and you ran for council. there are a lot of interesting national articles written about the city which in some cases produce a negative light which a lot of people disagree with that. waterloo does get a bad rap in many cases, do you think? >> hnd articles, the ones that talk about african americans in particular within the city, we just had a little bit of a business inventory, we saw over 10% of customer-based businesses in downtown waterloo owned by african americans and that's a pretty good statistic and it's been around for a couple of years, which retail and customer base have a hard time regardless of other factors, they have a hard time maintaining year after
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and downtown waterloo is way ahead of the curve in maintaining businesses. we've got not just african american, but moore's been there for 55 years. that's a downtown -- you know, we've got tri-city clothing, a 35-year waterloo clother now located in downtown waterloo, so we've got some things that really served as anchors within the district and some of those are african american-owned businesses. we have very eclectic group of restaurants and dining options, so you want mexican, you want italian, you want neopolitan pizza, we have it all in the district and we deserve as a community to pat ourselves on the back. >> ron: and there's been so much development downtown. how do you describe your job?
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would you help somebody on the west side? >> hall: our technical district goes from washington to franklin, 6th to about 3rd. with that said, downtown is really sort of considered even down to mullins, so we've got a pretty sizeable footprint when you think of a downtown. you usually think of five, six, seven blocks. we've got about 36 and that includes residential as well, so our job within its core, it's a historic preservation organization and economic development tool, so you take, for example, a $6 million investment from dave morgan and his crew that saved the wonder bread building, but that was all done -- that got started, the city acquired the
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eyes, frankly, to demolish and volunteers with main street got together, said we can't allow this to happen. this is a unique structure, this is a historic structure, it means a lot to people. and so we gathered volunteers, staff, we collected over a thousand signatures within a couple of weeks to say we want this building to stay within sort of a of the contributing fabric of the district. my aunt worked at the wonder bread bakery and when i was a young kid, i, too, learned the facility and i think i -- i toured the facility and i think i won like 100 twinkies. we had halloween candies to give out, but when we walked back
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two before then and it really did sort of bring back some of the memories of her and that's what historic preservation is about. it's not just about, you know, some cool old buildings and cool old bricks. it's about lives that have been affected -- >> ron: sure. >> hall: you know, wedding photos produced in the walls, and the folks to then go back and see maybe those spaces revisioned and reused, but still having some bit of integrity there. it really does -- it really does sort of pull at the heartstrings of folks and so it's a unique marriage and like i said, historic preservation and economic development, we don't always think of economic development as a real emotional things, but this is people's lives and this is people's communities. folks that have been here for generations and generations can remember some of the cool things. look at the blast building, the waterloo building, think of the fowler building, you know,
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and we do what we can to help preserve those. >> ron: the fabric of these stories stay alive by these renovations and even the building where you're sitting right now, thanks to tax credits and a lot of commitment on the part of quincy media, our owners, making literally about an $85 million investment in waterloo to stay right in this building to hopefully serve you. we get a lot of criticism, of course, because of some of the things we cover, but that is job we be here, to stay here, and i assume that that's a thing you look at as favorable. this building is over 100 years old itself and look what they've been able to do with it. >> hall: and it's a great okay core for downtown. when folks are driving through on franklin and coming into town there the airport and they go to, say, brian's on fourth for dinner, to be able to look down and see the park which has been
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founding, and then to look just past the park and see this building, i think it really is a part that makes waterloo a great place. >> ron: we're coming up on a new year. give me a capsulized vision whatever you would like to see happen in this city, particularly downtown with main street waterloo in 2017. >> hall: sure. everything we do is really focused around people, whether it's getting people into retail establishments, whether it's perhaps enjoy a drink after work, enjoy a meal with their families, just throughout their work days to have meetings and hopefully move down here, so increased food traffic is always a goal for us. the more feet, the better off everybody in the district is. in addition, there's some really good things happening. there is single speed, again, is going to be open officially at some point in 2017. as you know, we're going through
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time and usually a little longer than the contractors promise, but we're excited for that project to come to full fruition. we're excited to see some of the new events we're going to sort of reenvision my waterloo days this year with some interesting changes and so we look forward to hopefully coming back and talking a little bit about some
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of waterloo outside of folks from waterloo when you see a fote to have waterloo, it usually has that bridge in it and there's an opportunity there to capitalize on sort of the iconic nature of the bridge and perhaps re-envision it beyond what it's been the past few years that would really make it -- tie it into the fabric of what's happening both in east waterloo and west really make it a bridge. >> ron: when you walk up and down fourth street, what they've done, some of the developers and the screaming eagle, there's some great, great places. you owe it to yourself to come down there and check it out. tavis hall, executive director of main street waterloo, appreciate you taking the time to come in for the steele report. >> hall: thank you very much. >> ron: we're online at >> ron: we're online at see you next week.
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