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For the past 18 years I have worked in the profession of my choice because I can and have made a difference in people's lives. I don’t know if I’ll stay working as a correctional officer or even stay in Iowa until I retire because of what the Iowa Legislature did to collective bargaining this last session.

Since the gutting of my contract, I feel as though the state thinks I’ve done something wrong. With that weighing heavy on my heart, I went to state Sen. Nate Boulton, D-Des Moines, to listen to him on a campaign stop in Burlington. He took the time to listen to me. Nate knew my frustrations and concerns before I finished my sentence. I shook his hand, looked him in his eyes, and I 100 percent believe that he wants a better Iowa for the officers and offenders.

He spoke about mental health and education taking a beating as well. When our schools are underfunded and mental health facilities see massive budget cuts, it falls on our prison system to take over and everyone loses. Sen. Nate Boulton understands the problems we are facing and desperately wants to help find solutions. He can do this as our governor.

Mark Masterson

Mount Pleasant, Iowa

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