The fight over the budget continues for Republican legislative leaders and Governor Tom Vilsack. Republicans are rejecting the Governor’s idea of creating a special pool of state gambling taxes to finance projects which showcase Iowa history orimprove recreation opportunities. Instead, Republicans legislators plan to commit about 23-million dollars to environmental and recreation projects — using existing methods of financing. The G.O.P. plan would commit two million dollars to the protection of the Loess Hills in Western Iowa. Some of the money would be used for erosion control. The rest would finance a study of how best to preserve the area.On another budget issue, Governor Vilsack says the 140-million dollar tax cut package developed byRepublicans is way out of line. Vilsack says G.O.P. spending plans don’t work with that big a tax cut. Republican legislators, like Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson, are quick to dismiss Vilsack’s criticism, saying they will not pass an unbalanced budget. House Republican Leader Brent Siegrist of Council Bluffs says Vilsack’s off-base. He says they’ve heard the same thing every year and have still been able to cut taxes while balancing the budget. The Republicans’ 73-million dollar income tax cut will be approved by the House Ways and Means Committee this week.
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