Governor Tom Vilsack and legislative leaders agree to spend three million dollars to replace upcoming budget cuts to public safety and defense. The state’s top policymakers met behind closed doors yesterday afternoon.
Governor Tom Vilsack’s ordering a 200-million dollar cut in the state budget November 1st. While legislators and the Governor agree the state’s defense and safety departments shouldn’t be subject to the cuts, they haven’t decided whether cuts to K-through-12 public schools will stand. Senate President Mary Kramer, a republican from West Des Moines, spoke to reporters after the two-hour meeting in the Governor’s office. She says they talked a lot about numbers, but that was “about as far as we got.”
On Monday morning, Governor Vilsack announced November 8th as the date for a special legislative session, and Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows was a bit miffed. Iverson says they hadn’t even met yet when the announcement was made.
House Speaker Brent Siegrist, a republican from Council Bluffs, says the legislature and the courts will cut their budgets across the board, too, freeing up about six million dollars to spend elsewhere. He says they need a cushion as there’s no certainty about what’s going to happen with the economy.
Governor Tom Vilsack says progress was made in yesterday’s meeting.
Vilsack, who’s a democrat, acknowledges republican legislators are reluctant to restore the cuts made in K-through-12 education. Vilsack says legislators will have the last word, but he says they will try to be fruitful.
The state’s top managers met with representatives of the AFSCME union again yesterday to discuss wage concessions and early retirement incentives that would reduce the number of state worker layoffs that’ll be necessary.