The Iowa Senate resumed its work at 10 o’clock this (Monday) morning. The Iowa House is off today, waiting for the Senate to make decisions. Senate leaders of both parties say the main point of contention is over how big the state budget should be. Senate Co-President Jeff Lamberti, a Republican from Ankeny, says everyone knew the budget would be the hardest thing to resolve in a state Senate that has 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats. Senate Co-Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, hopes to strike a deal with Republican leaders today or tomorrow. “We have laid out a series of alternatives to them over the last seven or eight weeks,” Gronstal. “We’ve done that in private discussions with them. We haven’t been interested in political posturing.” But Lamberti, the Republican Co-President, says Democrats haven’t budged on the budget. “We’ve moved on more than one occasion on how much we’re willing to spend,” Lamberti says. “We haven’t seen any movement on the other side.”Gronstal, the Democrat leader, sees it differently. “We’ve tried to work in good faith with them to find common ground on these issues and it was always my hope, and it still is, that we will find a negotiated settlement to this session,” Gronstal says. Lamberti says Democrat Governor Vilsack also needs to make up his mind about what his priorities are, because the governor can’t get everything he wants, according to Lamberti.
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