Democrats say Iowa’s due about 130-million dollars from the feds as part of the economic stimulus package pending in Congress, and some of that money should be forwarded to Iowa cities and counties. Senate Democrat Leader Michael Gronstal of Council Bluffs says the 60-million dollars would make up for the cut in state aid to cities and counties. Gronstal says it’s something that could be done in the “special” legislative session scheduled for late this month to fix a mistake that’s been made. He says the cut would result in the layoff of police and firemen and endanger public safety. He says next year it would result in an increase in property taxes to make up the funding deficit. City and county government leaders are struggling to deal with the cut in state aid. Many are laying off police and fire fighters. Others are cutting library or city swimming pool hours. Gronstal says he’s confident Congress will come through with the money, which is included in the tax cut package Iowa Senator Charles Grassley is shepherding through the Senate.Gronstal says Grassley’s confident the Senate will pass the provision, and Gronstal’s hopeful Congressman Jim Nussle, as chairman of the House Budget Committee, will ensure the provision passes the House, too. Gronstal says with Iowans in such influential positions, there’s plenty of “juice” to get the federal aid to Iowa and other states.
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