Governor Vilsack’s idea to give Iowa’s licensed drivers a 10-dollar voucher for ethanol got a cool reception from Republican legislators today. Radio Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says while gas prices are high, his constituents aren’t asking for a rebate — or any state response to the gas price crisis.And Iverson says Republican members of the Iowa House and Senate are reluctant to take any action. Senate President Mary Kramer, a republican from West Des Moines, questions the Governor’s proposal. Kramer says it’s a short band aid approach that might not be worth the 14-million dollars. The 14-million dollars for the rebate would come from un-used money in what’s called the RISE fund. It’s a state account doled out to cities and counties for road projects that help businesses locate or expand in Iowa. House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City is reluctant to use that money. He says they don’t know what the impact will be on counties and cities if they use the money.Governor Tom Vilsack, though, isn’t ready to give up on his rebate idea. He says it would give Iowa an opportunity to be a national leader in the promotion of ethanol.Vilsack acknowledges Republican lawmakers are now reluctant to act. He says the administration has put a significant proposal on the table and he’d prefer they do something with it.Vilsack says ethanol has taken some licks from the petroleum industry, and Iowa policymakers should take action to defend the corn-based fuel additive.The idea of temporarily suspending Iowa’s gas tax has been abandoned.
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