Iowa’s top republican legislator says the G-O-P was reluctant to give the department of human services as much money as it requested last spring to provide child care assistance grants to parents who’re moving from welfare to work. House Speaker Brent Siegrist, a republican from Council Bluffs, says Republicans didn’t believe the D-H-S would need as much money as it requested for the program.The D-H-S today started a waiting list for childcare assistance grants. That means welfare recipients who’ve already qualified will keep getting the financial help to pay for child care, but new applications will be put on hold until more money comes through. Siegrist promises legislators will vote to shift 13-million dollars in January to meet the demand for child care assistance.Vilsack asked legislators last spring to grant that leeway, but Siegrist says Republicans were worried the money would be misspent.Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack said this morning he’s reluctant to order the use of those 13-million in federal funds for the state’s child care program, as a group of legislators have filed a lawsuit accusing him of exceeding his authority in another area. Vilsack says he’s “heard nothing but criticism and no commitment” from legislators to fix the child care problem. Republican representative Dave Heaton, who, like Vilsack is from Mount Pleasant, says the Governor can trust him to fix the matter in January.
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