The political finger-pointing reached a high pitch last night in the Iowa Senate as the state’s budget problems were discussed. Democrats want to dip into the state’s economic emergency fund to cover an expected 120-million dollar shortfall. Republicans want to use just 45-million dollars from that fund for public K-through-12 schools, and they’d make up the difference with a combination of budget cuts that includes one-day-a-month unpaid furloughs for state workers. Republican Senator Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny says the G-O-P’s alternative is a fair and balanced approach. Lamberti says by no means does he claim it’s an easy decision, but he says republicans prefer furloughs to lay-offs. Democrat Senator Mike Connolly of Dubuque says the plan is an attack on state workers who can’t afford more pay cuts. He says the republican plan is anything but balanced. He says, “It’s narrow minded, Iowan stubborn and worst of all, it’s mean spirited.”The Senate late last night endorsed the G-O-P budget cut proposal. The House is expected to debate it today.
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