Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack says the republican budget plan that cleared the Iowa Senate late last night isn’t sufficient. Vilsack calls it “a work in progress” while republicans say it is their final offer, and the House will next week endorse the plan without making any changes. Vilsack says changes are in order. Vilsack says he wants to “get as much resource for education as we possibly can.” And he accuses republicans of providing only half as much money as is necessary to provide state-paid health care to poor, disabled and elderly Iowans who get Medicaid benefits. Vilsack says the G-O-P Medicaid budget is a six-month, not a 12-month plan.The Governor signed a bill into law this morning that creates an Iowa Commission on Asians and Pacific Islanders. Vilsack says the move shows Iowa is an “inclusive” place. Vilsack says today in the world, there are places where a single religion, a single philosophy, a single thought-process dominates and young people are educated to believe there is only one way to think, believe and act. He says because of that, the world is a much more dangerous place than it needs to be.Vilsack says “America is strong enough and tolerant enough to have groups from different cultures, from different parts of the world become part of the American fabric.” Vilsack wore a suit he purchased in Taiwan for the event. While the bill created the new commission, it did not provide the money for its operation. Vilsack says finding the money is the next challenge. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 1,009 native Hawaii and other Pacific islanders living in Iowa and 36,635 natives of Asia are residents of the state.
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