Governor Tom Vilsack is sending a letter to all state department headsasking them for ways to trim their budgets to save 35-million dollars bythe end of the next fiscal year. Vilsack’s letter comes on the heels of areport that the state is bringing in less revenue than expected. Vilsack, ademocrat, says he wants departments to make thoughtful recommendations sopriority programs can be preserved.Republican leaders are criticizing the governor and the department headssaying the attempts to cut the budget are half-hearted. House MajorityLeader Christopher Rants says the Department of Natural Resources andCorrections Department are asking for budget increases. Rants says thegovernor needs to get his department heads under control. Vilsack saysRepresentative Rants knows part of the budget process is to identify newspending needs to present to the legislature. Vilsack says those requestscould be funded by shifting money from other projects, using tobaccosettlement money or federal funds.Vilsack says the state would be in even worse shape if he hadn’t vetoedtax cuts passed by the Republican-controlled legislature last session. Rantsdenies that claim. Rants says Vilsack vetoed a few hundred thousand dollarsin spending while vetoing millions in tax cuts.Rants says if the governor and the department heads don’t come up withadequate spending cuts, then his party’s leadership will.
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