The legislature convened this morning. The gavels fell at ten o’clock this morning to officially jumpstart the 2004 legislative session. Democratic Governor Tom Vilsack provided a jolt of his own, in the form of a letter. Vilsack said the budget outline he will present lawmakers later this week will not include tax increases, which Vilsack says means the budget does not keep spending promises he and legislators have made in the past. For example, he says 800 beginning teachers will be “sacrificed” and class sizes will increase because the state cannot afford to give schools as much money as it did last year — that is, unless taxes are increased. Vilsack says Iowans he’s talked to over the past few months want additional spending for priority items like education and public safety.
You are here: / Legislature opens new session