Baltimore: Focus will be jobs, economy
State Rep. Chip Baltimore, R-Boone, says his approach to priorities in a second term would be straightforward.
“It’s nothing magical,” Baltimore said. “It’s jobs and the economy.”
Baltimore, 46, an attorney who serves as in-house counsel and vice president of Boone Bank & Trust Co., is seeking the new Iowa House District 47 seat, which includes all of Greene County and the western three-fourths of Boone County. Baltimore in 2010 defeated fellow Boone resident Donovan Olson for the former House District 48 seat. The two face each other again in the post-2010 census political territory.
“I think what I’m trying to do is make my priorities the priorities people have in their lives,” Baltimore said.
That considered, Baltimore said his focus is the economy.
“We desperately need comprehensive tax reform,” Baltimore said.
Commercial-property tax is now hit by the state at 100 percent of its assessed value. Baltimore would like to see the percentage between 60 percent and 90 percent.
He also supports legislation that would require state agencies to evaluate all potential regulations based, in part, on likely economic and job impact.
“That was one that I truly believed to be common sense,” Baltimore said.
With regard to education reform, Baltimore said he struggles with the concept that teachers should be rewarded simply because they have tenure.
“Tenure in and of itself should not be the determining factor,” Baltimore said of teacher salaries and other career decisions for educators.
He added, “We ought to be able to come up with a system that can identify excellent teachers.”
On social issues, Baltimore’s anti-abortion stance is informed by his experience with adoption. His daughter, Danielle, 11, is adopted. Her biological mother was an Iowa State University student who made the adoption decision.
“I have a hard time looking at my daughter and realizing that had her biological mother made a different choice she would not be on this earth,” Baltimore said. “She carried our daughter inside of her and didn’t tell anybody.”
Baltimore said he has trouble drawing “bright lines” on abortion when it comes to rape and incest, which he says are “extremely rare” and should be given different consideration.
“Those women already have been made victims by somebody else,” Baltimore said.
He added, “I’m trying to balance the interests of everyone involved.”
Baltimore said Iowa’s citizens, not its courts, should make the decision on whether same-sex marriages are legal in the state. But the matter is not a top-tier issue for him, Baltimore said.
“I did not run for office for that issue,” Baltimore said.
Baltimore and his wife, Diana, an Iowa State University instructor, have one other child, Blake, 19, a student at Wartburg College.
The family belongs to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Boone.
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