One of the three legislators who have primary responsibility for writing the state budget doesn’t really want to accommodate requests for more cash for the present state budget year. House Appropriations Committee chairman Bill Dix, a republican from Shell Rock, is not convinced there’s a need for emergency or “supplemental” spending. “I will tell you that I’m leaning towards not having a supplemental, but we may,” Dix says. Dix is also cool to the idea of giving the state’s courts a million more dollars immediately. The chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court made that request yesterday. Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack says the money’s there, and there’s a need to immediately give some state programs the cash. He’s also asking for 39 million dollars immediately for a preschool education initiative and Vilsack supports the emergency million dollar appropriation the courts want now.. “It’s important for people to step up and do what’s right,” Vilsack says. The governor says the state’s Medicaid program will be running in red ink soon. Vilsack says, “When the Medicaid program runs out of money, Representative Dix and all of us are going to have to do something about that.” Vilsack says the state won’t be draining its reserves to empty. The governor anticipates the state’s cash reserve will still be nearly full by June 30th, and there’s more than enough money to spread around.
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