Republican and Democrat legislators have drawn up a 20-million dollar plan to restore some of the state budget cuts made in the across-the-board reduction that takes effect November 1st. House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City says both parties have been talking about restoring the funding while maintaining a cushion against future downturns.The plan would give K-through-12 schools almost six-and-a-half million dollars to fill holes in their budgets. Community colleges would get a million back. The state’s prison system would get three million, to ensure guards aren’t laid off. And counties will get four million in property tax relief to cover the rising costs of caring for the mentally ill. House Democrat Leader Dick Myers of Iowa City says they’ve been working together for some time and have agreed on the basic amount.The state schools for the blind and deaf would get money back to make up for the budget cuts, as would the State Hygienic Lab in Iowa City, which is the only lab in Iowa that conducts anthrax tests. Myers says the plan should win quick approval in the special legislative session November 8th.Myers and Rants made their comments during taping of I-P-T-V’s “Iowa Press” program. Legislators last week agreed to restore three million dollars worth of cuts made in the state’s public safety and public defense agencies.
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