Legislators face a Tuesday legal deadline for setting the amount of aid the state will send Iowa’s public schools for the 2005/2006 academic year. House Democrat Leader Pat Murphy of Dubuque says Republicans who control the Legislature’s debate agenda have been foot-dragging.Murphy says it’s “a little bit arrogant” for lawmakers to declare that education is their top priority without setting the level of general state aid for schools for the next budgeting year. Republicans in the Senate say they’ll announce their plan on Monday. Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says they are having “last minute discussions” to set the state spending rate for schools for the academic year that starts August of 2005. Senate President Jeff Lamberti, a republican from Ankeny, says it may be time to change the law that requires legislators to make such a decision so far in advance.Lamberti says he’s becoming convinced it’s not real wise for legislators to set the level of state aid for schools two years in advance, when they have no idea what the economy — and state tax revenues — will be like. Lamberti made his comments last night on Iowa Public Television.
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