Iowa lawmakers return to the statehouse today for what has become a last-ditch effort to approve a half-a-billion dollar state economic development fund. A small group of Republican lawmakers worked late into the night trying to reach a compromise G-O-P members of the House and Senate could live with, but bickering over how much to spend on business loans versus marketing versus parks and recreation could cause things to unravel today. Another kink came when lawmakers discovered the 300-million dollar income tax cut the Senate passed may actually amount to 500-million dollars. Jamie Van Fossen, one of the negotiators for the House, says that’s a major stumbling block. Van Fossen says some lawmakers may not be able to vote for a 500-million dollar income tax cut because they believe that’s too large a number. Jeff Lamberti, one of the negotiators for the Senate, says the whole deal’s pretty precarious. Lamberti says when one component in the package is altered, they run the risk of losing too many votes which would doom the whole effort. Lamberti hopes democrat Governor Tom Vilsack appreciates how tough this deal is for Republicans to put together.Lamberti says if lawmakers are able to pass a bill creating the so-called “Iowa Values” fund, along with that income tax cut, it’ll be the only opportunity he’ll have this year to sign it into law. The House is scheduled to gavel into session at five o’clock this afternoon to begin debating a deal, if there is one by that time. The Senate’s scheduled to convene tomorrow to debate whatever the House may act on tonight.
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