Concerned that voters don’t consider them “friends” of the environment,Republican legislative leaders this morning announced intentions to spend atleast 35-million dollars on one-time environmental projects. That 35-million dollars comes out of a fund dedicated to infrastructureprojects — and Republicans want to spend that money exclusively onenvironmental projects, although they haven’t decided which projects yet. The republicans call the new fund “Environment First.” Democrat GovernorTom Vilsack has said the top environmental priority for the state isensuring Iowa’s waters are clean. Representative Chuck Gipp, a republicanfrom Decorah, says republicans consider it a priority as well.House Speaker Brent Siegrist, a republican from Council Bluffs,expressed the G-O-P’s concern that republicans get no respect on theenvironmental issue.
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