Republicans have given democrat Governor Tom Vilsack their “final answer” on the state budget. The two sides had been 200-million dollars apart. Republicans yesterday said they’ll plug about 50-million more into the budget, but that’s it. Senate President Mary Kramer, a republican from West Des Moines, says “being responsible is very tough.” House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City says the G-O-P’s making the best of a bad situation. He says they wish there was more money to spend, but there isn’t.Governor Vilsack says he’s not ready to quit talking, as he says they owe it to Iowans to keep working to get the job done.Vilsack says he’s willing to cut another 50-million from his budget request, he says it’s a matter of negotiation and compromise.But House Speaker Brent Siegrist, a republican from Council Bluffs, says that’s splitting the difference, and republicans aren’t interested. He says it’s not a “halvsie” process in which they want to meet half way. Siegrist says to do so would be fiscally irresponsible for the state.Republicans say they’ve reached their final offer, and Vilsack will have to veto budget bills and call lawmakers back into a “special session” if he refuses to accept it.
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