Governor Tom Vilsack says there are a whole range of issues lawmakers must address in a “special” session which would occur as early as next week. The Legislature adjourned last night, but Vilsack says he’ll call ’em back to Des Moines for action on priority issues. Vilsack says Legislators could have reached final agreements this week, but for some reason there was an “unwillingness to get it done, or maybe the belief that nerves were frayed or the stress to great.” Vilsack says whatever the reason, he’s choosing to bring lawmakers back to the capitol. Vilsack says there’s no firm decision yet on a date as Republican Senators have formed a couple of “working groups” to come up with proposals on tax reform and an economic development fund. Vilsack says it shouldn’t take more than four or five days for Republican Senators to get their ideas together. Vilsack says a one-day-long special session seems adequate.Vilsack says if “people get their minds set to getting down to work and making decisions” anything can be done in a day. Vilsack says he’s a bit “mystified” as to why Republican Senators put together “working groups” yesterday to look at the key issues. Vilsack says he wonders what lawmakers have been doing the past four months. Vilsack’s adding other issues onto the special session agenda, including a request for 20 million more for state worker salaries. Vilsack says the state workforce has been cut 10 percent in the past three years, and there’s no room for more layoffs. Vilsack says there’s some tweaking needed on the legislature’s regulatory reform package, and changes needed in a bill that helps the state qualify for 30-million dollars to buy new voting equipment. In addition, Vilsack says Senate Republicans are reviewing a compromise on the issue of state taxes on race track casinos, a compromise that’s already cleared the House.
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