Republican legislators are stopping short of threatening to sue if Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack tries to legalize “Iowa Values Fund” awards to 36 companies without having lawmakers meet in special session this summer to validate the awards. The law which created the fund no longer exists because Vilsack lost a lawsuit filed by G-O-P legislators, but Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows is reluctant to commit to another lawsuit if Vilsack tries to use executive authority to reestablish the “Iowa Values Fund.” “Just because you’re the chief executive, does that mean you just get to do anything you want unless somebody takes you to court?” Iverson asked. Iverson says going to court in many respects makes both sides — democrats and republicans; the governor and legislators — look bad. Iverson says Iowans didn’t elect a “benevolent dictator” they elected “a chief executive who should follow the law.” Senate President Jeff Lamberti, a republican from Ankeny, believes Vilsack does not have the authority to reestablish the state economic development program on his own with some action from the legislature. Lamberti says the people of Iowa expect the governor to abide by the constitution, and “simply because (he) thinks he can get away with something” because lawmakers won’t return in general session ’til January isn’t going to fly with Iowans. The Governor’s economic development director, though, believes there is a way for Vilsack to use his administrative authority to legalize the Values Fund.
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