The Legislature has adjourned its “special session” after about five hours without passing a single bill. Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack called lawmakers back into session today to spend more on education, prisons and children’s programs, but republican lawmakers say the budget outline they passed 11 days ago is “fiscally responsible.” Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says, “We are doing the things we are committed to do. We have been here, we have done our jobs, and I think we have done them very well.”House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City ridicules the Governor’s idea of delaying construction of 20-miles of highway and using that 60-million dollars on other state programs. He says the whole special section is about public sector salaries versus private sector salaries. He says the governor wants to lay off road workers to increase the salaries of public sector workers.Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Jeff Lamberti, a republican from Ankeny, says the special session was unnecessary. He says it’s been “more about politics than policy.”Governor Vilsack says child welfare workers will be laid off, poor kids’ll be kicked off state-paid health insurance, and 100 prison guards will be fired. Republican Senator Jeff Angelo of Creston says Vilsack’s misleading Iowans. Angelo says he tells people in his district to not let politics to cause the executive branch to engage in scare tactics which the facts will not back up.House Appropriations Committee chairman David Millage of Bettendorf says he and his fellow republicans believe the Governor’s exaggerating. He says they’ve funded Iowa’s priorities and the special session was merely an expensive press conference for the governor.It cost nearly 40-thousand dollars to bring lawmakers and their staffs back to Des Moines for the day. Lawmakers in both houses gaveled in at 9 a-m. House members adjourned at 1:58 and the Senate went home at 2:25 this afternoon.
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