Governor Tom Vilsack’s mad legislators went home for the year without extending a business surcharge. Vilsack says it means 56 Workforce Development offices around the state will have to close. He says, “the legislature apparently just got tired and didn’t want to deal with it, and quit and went home.”Lawmakers will return to Des Moines for a special session this summer to consider a plan for redrawing Iowa’s congressional and legislative districts, and Vilsack may ask ’em to fix the problem.The 56 regional state Workforce Development offices provide assistance to the unemployed, and help businesses conduct job searches. Vilsack’s not pleased with the overall budget plan republican legislators presented him. He says the flurry of activity is like a tornado, and now he needs time to assess the damage.Vilsack now has 30 days to sign or reject bills. He also has the authority to “item veto” portions of budget bills. Vilsack will sign into law the plan which revamps the teacher pay system in Iowa, and commits 40-million state dollars to raise teacher salaries.But Vilsack criticizes Republican legislators for using tobacco settlement money to raise teacher salaries. He says it’s not “fiscally responsible” because it’ll cost the state about five-million dollars more to take money out of the special account set aside for tobacco company checks to the state.
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