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Outgoing Governor Pledges ‘Smooth Transition’

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DES MOINES, Iowa–Iowa Governor Terry Branstad still can’t say when he will resign his position as the longest-serving governor in the history of the United States. But he did say Monday that he expects to be on the job for two important functions next month: the annual Condition of the State Address to lawmakers and proposing a budget for the coming year.

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds said of what’s ahead, “We both know ensuring a smooth transition is paramount.”

Branstad said that while he knows he will still be on the job for the January 9th start of the next legislative session–that’s because Donald Trump doesn’t get inaugurated as President until January 20th–he doesn’t know if he will be still the governor until the end of the session. It depends how long the session goes,” laughed Branstad.

The session is scheduled to end after 110 days, but, of course, that deadline doesn’t guarantee anything if lawmakers are still fighting over the budget.

In the meantime, don’t expect the governor to weigh in much about his personal feelings about the issues impacting China, where President-Elect Donald Trump has decided he should serve as the next U.S. Ambassador. The governor said he didn’t think it was appropriate for him to weigh in on political issues at this point.

The governor doesn’t have the job yet, of course. He would still need confirmation from the U.S. Senate next year. Also, the governor, for the first time in decades, isn’t the boss as ambassador. Branstad, who is used to being the chief executive, will have to answer to President Trump in his next job. Not a problem, he said. ” I’m a humble guy,” Branstad said, “So I understand and respect that it’s a different position. You’re no longer chief executive of the state.”