Republican leaders say some might think it impossible so close to an election, but today lawmakers should easily pass two bills that will resurrect Iowa’s economic development program and extend breaks to existing businesses. The Iowa Legislature convened in special session this morning. House Speaker Christopher Rants says the legislature is moving Iowa’s economy forward. Rants, a republican from Sioux City, says the 100 MILLION dollar investment in the state program to attract new businesses and encourage existing firms to expand is the single-biggest investment ever. And Rants hails the 70 MILLION dollars worth of tax breaks available to businesses that buy new equipment. Rants says he sees nothing but positives coming from today’s legislative session. Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says the “economic stimulus package” lawmakers will approve today is “truly a compromise” between republicans and democrat Governor Tom Vilsack. Iverson says it’s an example of how divided government can work, despite philosophical differences. Iverson says politics is the art of the possible, and this compromise “will move Iowa forward.” Senate President Jeff Lamberti, a republican from Ankeny, says today is about solving a problem. Lamberti says it shows a democratic governor and a republican legislator can work together. Lawmakers work could be wrapped up as early as mid-afternoon, or could stretch into the night if some legislators decide to debate. House Republican Leader Chuck Gipp of Decorah says they’ve made every attempt to make it a short day. Gipp says he has “admonished” G-O-P legislators to keep to the single topic of the day — economic development — rather than launch into other election year issues.
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