Governor Tom Vilsack emerged from his day-long, closed-door meeting with legislative leaders to say progress has been made but there’s not a complete resolution to the stalemate over state spending. Vilsack held a news conference Wednesday night, with legislative leaders standing by his side. “First, the ground rules: I’m going to make a statement…but there’ll be no questions,” Vilsack said at the start. “We met for nine hours today and everyone worked extraordinarily hard to try to find common ground.” House Republicans have been holding out for less spending than Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have voted to spend in the state budgeting year that begins July 1st. “There are many issues and they are complex and they are interconnected,” Vilsack said. “Progress has been made. We are not completely finished with our work, but we are most hopeful today than when we began the day.” The governor and legislative leaders will meet in private again Thursday. “This is not an easy process,” Vilsck said after emerging from that nine-hour meeting. “There’s still work to be done,” Vilsack said, ending his nearly two-minute-long public statement. None of the legislators said a word and left the statehouse without speaking with reporters. You can hear Vilsack’s statement from beginning to end on www.radioiowa.com.
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