The 2000 Legislative session is underway, with the spectre of the Novemberelection hanging over its proceedings. Republicans held a breakfast thismorning to rally the G-O-P troops and tout their battle plan for maintaininga majority of the seats in the House and Senate. Senate Republican LeaderStewart Iverson of Dows says Republicans offer a different governingphilosophy, they want to give people opportunities, not more government programs.Democrats staged a statehouse news conference, with a slide show trumpetingtheir priorities. Senate Democrat Leader Mike Gronstal says republicans will “pay at the polls” if they fail to address education, health care and clean water initiatives.Leaders from both parties, however, are talking about the same priority ineducation: ensuring kids learn to read. House Speaker Brent Siegrist (see’-grist), a republican from Council Bluffs,says Republicans will push through “some” tax cuts, but they don’t knowwhich taxes they’ll seek to reduce.Governor Vilsack delivers his sketch of next year’s state budget tolegislators tomorrow. Siegrist says they want to examine the details. Later today, a House Committee will consider a bill which trims about30-million dollars from this year’s state budget. House Republican LeaderChristopher Rants of Sioux City says they want to make it their firstpriority.There’s no disagreement on the basics of that budget-cutting measure, as adeal was struck on the matter in December between republican legislators anddemocrat Governor Tom Vilsack.
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