Governor Tom Vilsack — who’s a lawyer — isn’t impressed with the appeal Attorney General Tom Miller filed yesterday, trying to get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a gambling tax ruling the Iowa Supreme Court made. Vilsack says it’s an issue that ought to be resolved by the legislature, and there should be a “halt to litigation.” The case has been appealed once before to the nation’s highest court, and while they ruled last June that the state had the right to tax race tracks at a higher rate than riverboats, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled just the opposite in February. That set the stage for the legislature’s gambling debate over tax rates and expansion. Vilsack says it’s time to get things resolved. Vilsack says it’s no longer a legal issue, it’s a political issue. Vilsack says he understands some legislators are “bent out of shape” because the state lost the case, but the governor says it’s time for them to get over it because “life goes on.”While Vilsack suggests the gambling issue should be “resolved politically,” he’s offering a different answer when it comes to the impasse over education funding. Vilsack says “this is not the time for politics” as he says he’d “prefer to focus on the policy of things.” Vilsack refuses to back down from his demand that legislators spend more money on Iowa’s public schools. Vilsack says it’s “not an issue of compromise, it’s an issue of doing what’s right for the children of the state of Iowa.” Republicans who control the legislature’s debate agenda say they have already set aside 109 million more for schools and don’t intend to spend any more than that.
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