The Iowa Supreme Court has sided with republican legislators and against democrat Governor Tom Vilsack in a legal dispute and thrown the state’s premiere economic development initiative in limbo. The fight was over whether the Governor had the authority to nix tax cuts out of a bill that also created the new state economic development initiative known as The Iowa Values Fund. The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously knocked down the whole bill. It means lawmakers may have to reconvene in special session to hash things out, as the law on which the Iowa Values Fund was based no longer exists, even though millions has already been handed out. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a republican from Sioux City, says no one expected the Iowa Supreme Court to rule as it did. Rants says lawmakers will have to take some time to review the ruling, then talk with the governor because Rants says the court “threw them a big curve ball…today.” But Rants says he feels “vindicated” by the court’s unanimous ruling.Rants says the court agreed with legislators “on every point.” He says it’s far too early to says with any certainty what the future holds for the Values Fund. Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows also spoke with reporters by phone this morning. Iverson says it’s the second time republican lawmakers have taken Vilsack to court for “exceeding his authority” and the second time they’ve won. Lawmakers sued Vilsack over his executive order which banned discrimination against state workers who were gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The G-O-P leaders in the legislature say it’s too early to say when or even if there will be a special legislative session to restore the legal foundation for the state’s new economic development program.Governor Vilsack is in Washington and will speak with Iowa reporters by phone early this afternoon. In a prepared statement released by his staff, Vilsack calls the ruling positive because it did not enact the G-O-P’s tax cuts which he says would have forced 115-million dollars worth of budget cuts in the coming year.
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