Iowa’s democrat governor and republican legislators are feuding over whether the state has enough money to help low-income parents pay for childcare as they move from welfare to work. Representative Dave Heaton, a republican from Mount Pleasant, says the Governor should use his authority to shift money to the program, rather than put parents on a waiting list. Governor Tom Vilsack, who’s also from Mount Pleasant, says that’s a curious argument. He says one group of legislators is suing him saying he exceeded his power, while another group wants him to spend money because it would be a good thing to do.A group of Republican legislators is suing Vilsack, alleging he does not have the authority to set a state government employment policy which bars discrimination against gays. Representative Heaton and other Republicans say there’s 13-million dollars in federal money left over for Iowa welfare reform initiatives, and they’ll vote next year when the legislature convenes to transfer that money to the child care program. Vilsack says legislators were repeatedly asked to do just that last spring. He says they didn’t respond so they state has to discontinue service or put them on a waiting list.Vilsack says he’s not confident republican legislators will act in January to fix the problem.Vilsack says he’s heard criticism, not commitment from G-O-P lawmakers. Representative Heaton was not available for comment this morning.
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