Today republican legislators plan to unveil the details of their state spending plan for the coming year. The biggest spending decision — how much to send Iowa’s K-through-12 public schools — has already been made. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a republican from Sioux City, says the rest of the G-O-P budget picture should be clear in a few hours.Rants says Iowans understand legislators have a “difficult budget situation on their hands” because of the economic downturn and declining state tax collections. But Rants says the budget outline they’ve crafted does its best to maintain commitments to education, public safety, the environment and health care. But democrats say the republican spending plan will have to target some pain in some areas of the state budget because the G-O-P has rejected the idea of raising taxes. Rants says he “hates to hear” democrats describe the G-O-P plan as “targeted pain.” He says that’s not the case.Rants says republicans will lay out a budget that will cause most Iowans to say “they did a pretty good job.” Also this week, a Senate committee will debate the gambling bill passed by the House last month. Leaders say the bill won’t be considered by the full, 50-member Senate till next week.
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