“The end of the day” that Governor Tom Vilsack and other legislators are so often pointing to may be some day this week. “At the end of the day” has become a catch-phrase among the state’s top politicians. During a recent news conference, Governor Vilsack uttered the phrase four times in less than 20 minutes. Afterwards, Vilsack was asked on what date that “end of the day” might fall. The governor indicated reporters should stay tuned.
For the first three days of last week, Democrats and Republicans had chosen sides and weren’t budging in the showdown over the state budget. By Wednesday, Governor Vilsack was less than optimistic the stalemate would end. “We all have something to lose here,” Governor Vilsack said on Wednesday. “It’s just crazy.” But then on Thursday things started to come together to bring that last day of the 2006 legislative session near.
Republican legislative leaders like House Speaker Christopher Rants of Sioux City were reluctant to spill the details at 4:30 Thursday afternoon. “We’re continuing to visit. We are continuing to visit. We are continuing to visit,” Rants told reporters. “That’s all we’re going to say.” But just before six o’clock Thursday, Rants and the rest of the legislative leadership were standing beside Vilsack in his office at a news conference to announce the framework of a budget deal had been reached, and they plan to wrap up the 2006 legislative session this week.
“Hopefully with this framework and this compromise, this session can come to an end and people can enjoy their spring and summer,” Vilsack said. Of primary concern are the party primaries on June 6th, the day when the ballot will be set for the November election. As for exactly when lawmakers will conclude, legislative leaders say that “end of the day” could be Wednesday or Thursday.