Governor Tom Vilsack’s calling lawmakers back to Des Moines on Thursday, May 29th for a “special” legislative session to deal with key issues like tax reform and creation of a new state economic development initiative.Vilsack says Republican leaders in the House and Senate have been meeting this past week to try to narrow the differences that separate them. Vilsack’s confident the gap can be bridged, and action taken at month’s end.Vilsack says he’s offered legislators some ideas for how to reach “common ground.” Vilsack says since nearly every other state has a massive deficit and officials are just trying to balance budgets, Iowa has a unique window of opportunity to make a splash in the economic development arena. Vilsack says with a reformed tax structure and the “Iowa Values” economic development fund Iowa will be able to “dominate this game” when nearly every other state is on the sidelines. When prosperity returns to the rest of the country, it’ll be harder for the state of Iowa to compete according to Vilsack. The Governor isn’t worried May 29th will come and go without a deal on the major issues of conflict. Vilsack says none of the G-O-P leaders in the legislature had any objections to the date, and he’s confident there’ll be an agreement. Vilsack says there seems to be a “growing recognition” among Senators that they’ve got to respond to the call for action. The Iowa House overwhelmingly endorsed an 810-million dollar “Iowa Values” fund to spur business and research development and to fix up the state’s schools, but the Senate never took action on the matter and adjourned the regular session last week.
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