The state of Iowa will get about 180-million dollars as part of the “economic stimulus package” President Bush is expected to sign soon. Governor Tom Vilsack says 80-million dollars will be spent on Medicaid — health insurance for the poor. State officials can use the remaining 100-million dollars however they wish, and Vilsack wants to spend part of it on state workers salaries because he says the budget lawmakers crafted would force him to layoff as many as 400 state workers. Vilsack says the state should probably hang onto some of it, put it in reserve and perhaps next year use the extra money to finance education initiatives. In addition, Vilsack says some of that 100-million should go to local governments in Iowa.Vilsack says cities and counties should have gotten a direct payment from the feds, but that didn’t happen and he says “cities and counties should expect some” of the money the state’s getting. Vilsack says the money should be targeted to communities hard hit by cuts in state, especially traditional industrial areas of the state which haven’t rebounded from the recession of the 1980s.
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