Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack’s not backing down and is insisting republican legislators consider his proposals to raise taxes in order to provide more money to priority areas, like education. Vilsack says it’s a “serious proposal and it should be taken seriously and people should be thoughtful about it because the issues are very, very important to the state.” Republican legislators, however, have pledged to draw up a state spending plan that does not include new taxes. Vilsack says that’s not good enough because the state has a “social responsibility” to provide more funds to K-through-12 public schools. Vilsack says the people of Iowa are “very anxious to have strong, strong support for education.” During a news conference this morning, Vilsack pounded the lectern as he declared that Iowans “expect us to fight for education.” Vilsack says he’s “very, very passionate about this” because providing support for public schools is one of the most important things state government does. Vilsack today sent a more detailed plan to legislators, outlining his proposal to raise the cigarette tax, expand the state sales tax and close so-called “corporate loopholes” in the tax code. Vilsack says a recent Des Moines Register poll found a majority of Iowans support his plan.
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