A key Republican legislator says things need to be done differently this time around as legislators consider budget-cutting recommendations from a consultant hired by Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack. Representative Bill Dix of Shell Rock, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, says the consultant should have made its work public much sooner than it did this past spring. Dix says in order to provide the right kind of public scrutiny, those recommendations should have been made public “significantly earlier.” One of the most controversial recommendations — which the legislature endorsed — was cutting state aid to cities and counties by 50 million dollars, which forced significant layoffs. Dix says there are new expectations about openness this time around. Dix says he’s asked that consultant to make its recommendations by November 1st so there can be plenty of public scrutiny. Dix says he was not at all happy with the way the process worked last year. He says there needs to be more time for evaluation. Dix made his comments yesterday at the Iowa Freedom of Information Council’s annual meeting.
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