Governor Tom Vilsack attacked the Republican budget plan for state welfare programs as a “cruel hoax,” but he still signed the bill into law. Vilsack says Republicans failed to respond to the need to hire more child abuse investigators, and actually provided less money next year to check out child abuse allegations. Vilsack used his item veto authority to nix a half-a-million dollar “Marriage Matters” initiative because it was financed by cuts in childcare assistance grants for parents trying to get off welfare. Vilsack vetoed three tax bills, saying he couldn’t justify tax breaks when services to needy Iowans were being cut. One of those tax breaks would erased the capital gains taxes for Iowans who get stock options from their employer. Another of the vetoed tax breaks was for subchapter S corporations. The other was a tax break for property developers. Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson says the Governor’s actions show Vilsack’s more interested in growing government than the state’s economy. House speaker Brent Siegrist was quick to criticize the governor’s vetoes Thursday of three tax-incentive programs for business. He says though the governor used the budget as his justification, Siegrist said the bills contained “trigger language” that activated them only when federal tax breaks arrived to pay for them. The Republican house speaker was critical of the Democratic governor’s reasons for vetoing tax break legislation Thursday.Siegrist says lawmakers didn’t give Vilsack everything he wanted in the session that just ended, so he vetoed their tax credits. The governor vetoed a bill that would have closed five Human Services offices around the state, but though they may remain, their funding is gone.Siegrist says it was a chance to reorganize the Human Services Department and make it more efficient. He hopes that will still happen, since there’s no money in the budget to run the departments targeted. One item the governor couldn’t restore was an incentive for venture capital investors in Iowa. Vilsack said in his statement that passing that measure would have stimulated investment in the state.
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