Republicans thought they’d crafted a bill that Governor Tom Vilsack would have to sign or veto in bulk, but Vilsack may have the “item veto” authority to nix portions of the economic stimulus package that cleared the legislature this week. The Governor can only use his item veto on bills which contain spending, and some experts say the bill which contains the income tax cut, property tax changes, regulatory reforms and the structure for a new state economic development fund does have some spending in it. Vilsack says he has to “step back and take a look at the bill, understand its implications, understand what options” he has. Vilsack says he doesn’t know yet whether he has the authority to item veto portions of the package. Vilsack says someone will figure that out at some point, but right now he’s just trying to figure out what the bill does. Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson says if Vilsack vetoes part of the package, he’ll damage his relationship with lawmakers and make it more difficult to get things done in the three years that remain in his term. Vilsack says he will not seek re-election in 2006.
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