Republicans say it’s time to close the 56 Workforce Development offices around the state that have provided job counseling to Iowans. Governor Vilsack’s mad lawmakers didn’t continue the business tax that finances the centers, but Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says the centers aren’t needed. Iverson says the centers were started during the farm crisis of the 80s and they aren’t needed now with the state’s low unemployment. He says it costs between six and seven million dollars to run.Businesses have been paying seven-bucks per employee per year to operate the 56 offices. Governor Vilsack wants to keep most of ’em open, but Iverson says it’s time to shut ’em down. Iverson says he had an individual who went to the center to sign up and was told to go home and sign up via the telephone.Iverson says unemployed Iowans will still be able to sign up for government help.Iverson says you can sign up for unemployment benefits over the phone today, and there’s no need to go into an office. Governor Vilsack has said he may ask lawmakers to consider the issue this summer when legislators return to Des Moines to consider a plan for redrawing the lines for Iowa’s congressional and legislative districts. Iverson says they can talk about the workforce development center, but Republicans aren’t really interested in keeping ’em open.
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