Democratic lawmakers seem more than willing to consider Governor Culver’s call for borrowing nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars to finance infrastructure projects around the state. Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says updating the state’s infrastructure is important.
"I believe in Iowa’s future. I believe it makes sense, now, to borrow money and move this state forward," Gronstal says. House Speaker Pat Murphy, a Democrat from Dubuque, says borrowing money — by issuing state bonds — makes sense to him since the state has a top rating from the agencies which evaluate states’ ability to repay those bonds.
"It’s a route to go in these tough economic times. I know some people argue we should never bond. but with our AAA bond rating what the governor said makes a lot of sense and quite frankly we should try to do that," Murphy says. "We should try to move these communities that have been devastated by disasters in this state to move forward and the best way to do that through any mechanism we have, and with a AAA bond rating, it’s time to do it."
Governor Culver also proposes dipping into the state’s "rainy day" account for $43 million which would be used to fix-up flood-damage. Both Democrats and Republicans in the legislature indicate that’s a less controversial proposal.