Democrat lawmakers threaten to derail the four-point-six billion dollar republican-crafted state budget plan next week when it’s debated in the Senate. Republicans propose dipping into the state’s cash reserve for about 160 million dollars of extra spending money. Democrats say it takes at least 30 votes in the Senate and 60 votes in the House to clean out that savings account, and republicans need democrats’ votes. Senate Democrat Leader Michael Gronstal of Council Bluffs says republicans should make some attempt to work with democrats in the legislature and with democrat Governor Tom Vilsack on a compromise budget plan, and if the G-O-P doesn’t, democrats will withhold the votes republicans need to dip into the cash reserve. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a republican from Sioux City, is incredulous. Rants says he’s got to believe democrats will vote to use that money from the cash reserve. “Why wouldn’t the democrats want to fund K-12 education and public safety and health care?” Rants asked reporters yesterday.
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