Iowa lawmakers return to Des Moines Tuesday for the second week of the 2005 Legislative session, and there may be action soon to set the level of state aid for public K-through-12 schools. Democrats want additional spending to raise teacher salaries, but Senate Co-Leader Mike Gronstal, a democrat from Council Bluffs, says they’ll wait because they don’t want to pick a fight with republicans this early in the year. “We have tried this session to work as closely as we can to lower the level of partisan criticism…to not pot-shot each other and try and put together a session that can be productive and be about a common agenda,” Gronstal says. Gronstal says legislators from both parties are “working together very constructively right now.” He says it’s part of the new attitudes and new relationships that are forming in the Iowa Senate which has 25 republicans and 25 democrats, meaning neither party can push through its own agenda. Senate Co-Leader Stewart Iverson, a republican from Dows, agrees. “We’ve gone through the first week. I think it’s going pretty well,” Iverson says. Legislators will not meet on Monday due to the Martin Luther King holiday.
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