Raising the state’s minimum wage, reducing the size of the legislature and drastically cutting the number of school districts in Iowa were ideas debated Friday by the Governor’s strategic planning council. Betsy Brandsgard of Davenport is the Council’s co-chair. She says they’re asking Iowans to think differently.A proposal considered by the group would reduce the size of the Iowa House from 100 to 80 members and pare the Iowa Senate from 50 to 40 members. Another proposal seeks to consolidate county services. State Representative Scott Raecker, a republican from Urbandale, is a member of the Strategic Planning Group. He says they need to address government and goverment services as the state continues to change.Another hotly-debated proposal called for having just 99 school districts in Iowa. State Representative Steve Falck is a democrat from Stanley who is one of the four legislator-members of the panel. He strongly opposes the idea of just 99 school districts. He says he has parts of 11 school districts in his house district and says each one is the center of town.The group met with Governor Vilsack for two hours on Friday afternoon. Vilsack says it’s time to look at the size of school districts. Vilsack says it shouldn’t be tied to an arbitrary number, but instead be tied to what size of school is best for kids. Vilsack, by the way, is rumored to be on the list of candidates Al Gore is considering as a vice presidential running mate.
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