The top Republican in the Iowa House says he’s optimistic a deal can be struck with Democrats and the impasse over the state budget can be resolved soon.
House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says the bill House Republicans passed Wednesday that outlined all the GOP’s spending and tax policy positions “kick-started” the negotiations he had with Democrats in the Senate this morning.
“Probably had arguably the most productive meeting that we had in two months with the senate. They’ve given us a proposal, so we’re going to spend whatever it takes, the rest of today, tomorrow to make sure we undetrstand the details,” Paulsen says. “But I think yesterday’s action made a difference and we’re pleased about that.”
Paulsen would not reveal the counter-proposal from Democrats, but suggests it represents a break-through that could lead to the end of the stalemate over state spending.
“I think that if we’re all sincere in that effort, I think next week is a possibility,” Paulsen says.
The top Democrat in the Iowa Senate issued a three-sentence written statement early this afternoon. Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal said he was “encouraged” by what happened during his latest private meeting with Republican leaders from the House. Gronstal also expressed optimistic an agreement could be reached that would win “bipartisan support” in the senate and avert a state government shutdown. The next state budgeting year begins July 1.