Legislators mopped up about 400-million dollars worth of red ink in the state budget yesterday.The Iowa Legislature’s “special session” yielded a fix for the remaining month of the current year’s state budget, which is 200-million dollars in the hole, and republicans passed a series of cuts in next year’s state budget to erase the roughly 200-million dollar deficit in that plan. Republican Senator Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny says he doesn’t feel real good about the solutions as he fears all the borrowing legislators did will create problems in future years as it’s “hardly great public policy.”Lamberti says there’s “no reason to celebrate” as the people of Iowa need to know how serious the problem is with most of the state’s reserves gone.Democrats unsuccessfully lobbied for using more untapped state reserve accounts so the budget cuts wouldn’t have to be so deep. Democrat Representative Mark Smith of Marshalltown says he’s worried about cuts in the Department of Human Services.Democrat Representative Rick Larkin of Fort Madison, a counselor at the state’s maximum-security prison, protested cuts in public safety. He says it’s important to not let the guard down, as a terrorist attack at this time could be costly.Governor Tom Vilsack has said he’ll accept the leaner republican budget plan because to reject it would cause a government shut down, which he says no one wants.
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