A key senator says there’s “good work” being done at the statehouse, but little hope lawmakers will get their work done this week. Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says the odds are “slim” that legislators will come to an agreement this week on state spending. Gronstal says there are still “significant differences” between Republicans and Democrats in the legislature “in the neighborhood of $25 million.” Amid such low expectations for progress, legislators began their workday — as they always do — by making an appeal to a higher power. “Let us pray,” Representative John Whitaker of Hillsboro said Monday morning. “Holy and merciful God, be with us this day in our deliberations. Grant us the ability to make wise decisions. Grant us the ability to be compassionate with one another.” Senator Doug Shull of Indianola led the opening prayer in the Senate. “You, God, have given us the privilege to serve you and to serve our fellow human beings. This is an awesome responsibility that we have and we pray today that your hand will guide us to do your will,” Shull said. What will legislators to for the remainder of the week? Leaders say they may send the rest of the legislature home so just leaders will stick around Des Moines and make the decisions that need to be made. Yesterday (Monday), Republican House Speaker Christopher Rants of Sioux City announced he’d made the decision to try to say whatever he has to say — with a smile. Gronstal, the Democratic leader in the Senate, has a response. “I’m always smiling, at least on the inside,” Gronstal says. Rants, the Republican leader, also said voters told him over the weekend to stick to his guns and fight Democrats over state spending levels. Gronstal, the Democratic leader, says he also heard from voters telling him to fight for more money in priority areas, like education. “I’m sure voters are frustrated. I’m sure we’re all frustrated with the length of time this is taking but I think there are important things worth fighting for,” Gronstal says.
You are here: / / Senator says "good work" is being done despite no final budget action