A district court judge has sided with the Governor in a dispute with Republican legislators. The judge says Governor Tom Vilsack had the authority to item veto sections of a bill which created the new state economic development fund. Republican lawmakers had argued Vilsack did not have the right to strip out tax cuts and regulatory reforms. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a republican from Sioux City, says the legal feud is not over. Rants says he’s “obviously disappointed” by the ruling, but he says “we knew all along that this case would be decided by the Supreme Court.” Rants says they’ll promptly appeal the case to the Iowa Supreme Court, and Rants says he’s confident that court will rule in the G-O-P’s favor. Rants says the district court judge doesn’t address some of the arguments Republican legislators made in their brief. Rants says the most troubling portion of today’s ruling is that Rants believes the judge has declared that a tax cut is an appropriation.Rants says it’s the first time he knows of that any court in the country has ruled that tax cuts are appropriations. He says that sends the message that the money belongs to the government and the state appropriates the money back to the public. Rants says the ruling deserves to be appealed on that issue alone. In a prepared statement, Governor Vilsack said it was time to set aside the court battle and focus “on what’s important to Iowans: creating good jobs, providing quality education to our children, improving access to affordable health care, protecting the environment and keeping our communities safe.” Vilsack said the District Court ruling “appropriately and unequivocally confirms my constitutional authority” to use the line item veto on the controversial bill.
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