Republican legislators have revised the budget-cutting plan they intend to pass in today’s “special session.” The G-O-P initially proposed doing away with cultural grants, but put half-a-million dollars worth of grants back in their plan. In addition, they’ve backed away from cuts to the Iowa State Highway Patrol and restored money for grants to farmers who plant buffer strips along streams. House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City says they’ve had to cut deeper in other areas to make those adjustments. He says they listened to concerns of legislators and the public in shifting some funds around in their plan.Lawmakers are cutting 200-million dollars from the state budget plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1st. Dozens of people carrying posters marched to the statehouse this morning to lobby against some of the proposed budget cuts. Jackie Adams of Red Oak was among those lobbying for the cultural grants. She says she’s worked with the grants for 35 years and says she’s not against cuts, she just doesn’t want the program eliminated.Tiffany Cox of Des Moines carried a poster and brought her kids. She says cultural grants help improve the state’s quality of life, and if they go, she’ll consider leaving.Jessica Murphy of Dubuque works at the Grand Opera House, and carried a sign that “cultural tourism equals money.” She says everything has to take some type of cut, but she says leaders need to think about how elimination would impact long-term economic development. Rants, the House Republican Leader, says he’s made a discovery in the past few days.Rants says paring the state budget is like a diet: everybody wants to lose 20 pounds but doesn’t want to cut back on the sweets to restore a healthy balance.
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