Republicans are speaking out against Governor Culver’s plan to spend two-million dollars out of the state’s rainy day fund to run his "Rebuild Iowa Office." Culver this week proposed taking 43-million dollars from the state’s economic emergency account for flood assistance.
House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha says all of that money should go to those directly harmed by the floods and none should bankroll administrative activity in Des Moines at the Rebuild Iowa Office. "Republicans don’t object to that office. Obviously, it’s a necessary office," Paulsen says, "But the economic emergency fund is for victims, not for state offices in Des Moines."
Paulsen lives in Linn County, but his legislative district coverage a tiny sliver of Cedar Rapids. Paulsen says he intends to make help for flood victims in Cedar Rapids and elsewhere a priority in the 2009 legislature — and he’s met with the lieutenant governor to discuss flood-related issues.
"Republicans are a little more interested in making sure that there are some housing dollars in there, which I think legislative Democrats are also supportive of that, and then we’d also like to see something in there on behalf of businesses," Paulsen says. "…None of those things were dismissed out of hand." Paulsen says the level of flood damage in the state warrants a larger chunk of the economic emergency funds than the 43 million Governor Culver has proposed.