The pace of the 2003 Iowa Legislature is less than frantic. In their first month, lawmakers have passed one bill. Republicans control the Legislature’s agenda, and Senate Democrat Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs is issuing a challenge to the rival party. Gronstal says after 31 days, it’s time for this Legislature to get to work. Gronstal concedes there are important discussions going on behind the scenes over things like tax policy. But Gronstal says so far, there’s been “very, very little activity” for many legislators. Republicans like House Speaker Christopher Rants of Sioux City are expressing outrage at the Democrats’ comments. Rants says he’s sorry the Democrats have “chosen to throw stones” in what he says he thought was a “new era of bipartisan cooperation.” Senate President Mary Kramer, a Republican from West Des Moines, says the slow pace is due to the complexity of the issues that’re being tackled. She says prudence dictates that they take their time so at the end of the day they’vedone the right thing.
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