Legislative leaders from both political parties are meeting privately with Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack today, trying to draft a state budget all sides can agree with.

Senate Co-Leader Stewart Iverson, a Republican from Dows, says this could be a day-long meeting. “We’re going to work as long as we can to resolve the differences on the budget and so I feel very confident that we are making progress,” Iverson says.

Senate Co-Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, joked yesterday about how difficult it was to convince Republicans to abandon their demand that teacher pay hikes be connected to classroom performance. “I try to teach Republicans,” Gronstal said. “It is kind of like special ed.”

Gronstal made his comments during a news conference in his office. Today’s meeting in the governor’s office began at nine.