Republican legislators will spend several hours in closed-door meetings this week to determine how bad the state’s economic situation really is. Governor Vilsack, who’s a democrat, has suggested dipping into the state’s “economic emergency” savings account to make next year’s budget balance. It appears Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows are prepared to reject that idea. Governor Vilsack says if legislators DON’T dip into the emergency fund, the state will be forced to close a section of a prison, lay-off state troopers or cut state services for disabled Iowans. House Speaker Brent Siegrist, a republican from Council Bluffs, says that’s ridiculous. He says there is still room in the budget for savings. House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City says “disappointing” is the word he’d use to describe Vilsack’s budget ideas. Republican leaders say they’ll release their own budget outline on Thursday.
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