The 2004 Iowa Legislature is history. The sound of the gavel falling to signal the conclusion of the legislative session is akin to the starter’s gun for the fall election. Republicans hold a majority of seats in the Iowa House and Senate today, and control the Legislature’s debate agenda. That’s why democrats want to win more legislative races and gain control of the House and Senate. Senate Democrat Leader Michael Gronstal of Council Bluffs says democrats would have spent more money on schools this year than republicans allotted. And Gronstal says republicans have failed property owners by ensuring the state pays its share on tax credits. Gronstal says republicans have great campaign rhetoric about being opposed to tax increases, yet property taxes have gone up 300 million dollars, according to Gronstal, because of republican inaction over the past three years. But House Speaker Christopher Rants, a republican from Sioux City, says republicans will fare well with voters because the G-O-P resisted the easy way out this year. Rants says back in January there was a “cacophony” of calls for a tax increase to solve the state’s budget woes. Rants says democrat Governor Tom Vilsack was “beating the drum, saying ‘Taxes must be raised.'” Rants says given uncertain times in the state’s economy, republicans were able to fashion a budget that adequately addressed the state’s needs in education, health care and public safety without raising taxes. Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says he’s proud of the republicans’ record. Iverson says the G-O-P “work product” was common sense basics, and “moved the state forward.”