The 1999 Iowa legislature has adjourned for the year. Lawmakers left without resolving their differences on gambling policy. Thatmeans Racing and Gaming Commission rules which establish a freeze ongambling expansion will go into effect. In the session’s final hours, theHouse abandoned a plan to provide the Iowa-based start-up airline “AccessAir” a 10-million dollar state loan. On the accomplishments side, a morethan four-and-a-half Billion dollar state budget was ratified. Republicanlegislators pushed through a 70-million dollar property tax relief measureas well as a range of targeted income tax cuts totalling 74-million dollars.Some — including Governor Vilsack — say that’s too much. Senate DemocratLeader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says the legislature has abdicatedits responsability by giving the governor a smorgasboard of tax cuts and hecan chose which ones are best for Iowa.Senator Jeff Lamberti, a republican from Ankeny, believes Iowagovernment can afford to give more back to taxpayers — but he called theincome tax cut package a good start.House Speaker Brent Siegrist, a republican from Council Bluffs, said education legislation was the hallmark of the 1999 session.House Democrat Leader David Schrader of Monroe said Governor Vilsack’s”relentless drive” helped move the legislature to tackle issues likereducing class sizes in early elementary grades.
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