Governor Tom Vilsack is optimistic deals can be struck on a number of state budget issues this week — so legislators can get out of town. Sometime this week, the 2000 Iowa Legislature may adjourn for the year, but disputes over technology and education spending are holding up the exit. The democrat Governor says Republicans need to plug another 11-million dollars into the budget for technology-related issues. He says there is not a single business in the state that “would spend the last dollar one technology, they are all spending the first dollar technology.” Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson says there’s a little “wiggly room” in the G-O-P budget plan but not extra money to spend. He says they know the size of the pie, it’s just a matter of how they divide it up.Vilsack says the legislature needs to provide a few million dollars to help Iowa Public Television “go digital” — that means I-P-T-V will be offered in the new-fangled “high-definition” or H-D-T-V format. I-P-T-V has struck some deals with commercial t-v stations to construct new transmission towers, but Republican legislators say it can wait ’til next year.Vilsack suggests delaying the initial 20-million dollar state investment in the “Vision Iowa” program which’ll provide state grants to big-time cultural and recreation projects around the state. Vilsack says none of the projects will start construction this year — and the money won’t be needed ’til next year.
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