WATCH NOW: Reynolds uncertain of plans for $1.3B in federal COVID funds for Iowa | State and regional

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“I’ve said that is not where we want to be,” Reynolds said. “We need to catch up, we need to be bold and we need to do it.”

Reynolds said she is not looking to use the federal COVID funds to further cut state taxes. But in her budget proposal she delivered in January, Reynolds mentioned she did call on the Legislature to remove the “triggers” that were put into the 2018 tax reform law. That would allow a speedier completion of the largest tax cuts in state history. Under current law, the state would have to meet certain revenue goals to trigger the multi-year tax cuts.

Reynolds was one of 21 governors who issued a statement last week that objected to Biden’s COVID relief package as biased against their states. Unlike the previous stimulus bill that allocates funding solely by population, the Democratic measure gives added weight to a state’s unemployed population.

In a tweet Monday, Reynolds said the Democrats’ package provides “bigger checks to states who chose aggressive shutdowns and mismanaged their state budget.

“We ended COVID in a good financial position,” Reynolds told the Journal Editorial Board. “You shouldn’t punish states that do that.”

Iowa’s unemployment rate is one of the nation’s lowest at 3.1 percent. Reynolds said she continues to hear from employers who are experiencing trouble filling open positions due to acute local labor shortage. The Democratic bill, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, would provide the unemployed with an additional $400 in weekly jobless benefit, and extend the duration of benefits offered through temporary pandemic relief programs through Aug. 29, instead of March 14.