The top republican in the legislature says many of the 18 bills democrat Governor Tom Vilsack vetoed yesterday passed with both republican and democrat votes. In a prepared statement, Vilsack implied the bills he vetoed were backed by extremists in the Republican party. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a republican from Sioux City, says Vilsack’s charge of extremism “just doesn’t wash.” Rants says as he looked at the list of 18 rejected bills, he couldn’t understand why Vilsack would reject legislation that would have given parents another method of saving for their child’s college education. Rants says the measure had broad support from both republicans and democrats. Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says many of the bills Vilsack vetoed were supported by both republicans and democrats. Iverson says the governor “has shown a disregard for the people of Iowa.” Vilsack vetoed a controversial measure which would have placed a 250-thousand dollar limit on the “pain and suffering” awards Iowans could receive in medical malpractice cases. Rants, the House Speaker, says that’s unfortunate. Rants says he believes there are ways to make changes in the court system that would help lower liability insurance costs for doctors, but Rants acknowledges the Governor feels differently. Iverson, the Senate Republican Leader, is also critical of Vilsack’s veto of the medical malpractice bill. Iverson says the governor, who is a lawyer, has “clearly shown he’s picking trial lawyers over doctors.” Iverson says Iowa doesn’t have a shortage of attorneys, but does indeed have a shortage of doctors. Another bill Vilsack vetoed would have let prosecutors file two rather than just one murder charge when a pregnant woman is killed. Rants suggests Vilsack killed the bill to win points on the national political stage, as Vilsack’s among those being considered to be democrat presidential candidate John Kerry’s runningmate.Rants says that particular bill passed with much democrat support, but Rants says “apparently the Governor’s national ambitions are going to prevent him from looking at something the majority of Iowans support because it doesn’t fit with the national democrats’ agenda.” In a prepared statement, Vilsack said he’s sympathetic to efforts to protect women during their pregnancy, but the governor said Iowa law already has enhanced penalties on the books for violent crimes against pregnant women.
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