Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds says it’s time for Democrats in the Iowa Senate to respond to the offer Republicans made last week on education reform.
“I think anytime that you’re in good faith negotiations you anticipate either an acceptance of the proposal or a counteroffer,” Reynolds says. “To my knowledge we haven’t seen either one yet.”
Republicans in the House and Republican Governor Terry Branstad say they’ll agree to increase general state aid to schools two percent next year, with one-time, two percent bonus tacked on, followed by a four percent increase the following year.
But they’ll only agree to that spending level if Democrats accept all the education reform policies House Republicans endorsed in February. Reynolds says Republicans “delivered” a compromise and it’s up to Democrats to “move.”
“I think the ball is in their court,” Reynolds says.
Last week Democrats dismissed what they called the GOP’s “my-way-or-the-highway approach” and said they could not accept all the policy proposals House Republicans drafted. Reynolds is singling out Senator Herman Quirmbach — the top Democrat negotiating on education reform — for criticism, saying it’s time for Quirmbach to rethink his opposition to the Republicans’ proposal.
“I hope he’s had some time to think about it over the weekend,” Reynolds says. “I hope he’s had some time to talk to his superintendents and the educators and the administrators and they can talk to him about how important it is to get this done and I hope he’ll come back and really sit down with that conference committee and figure out a way to get this done and move forward on education reform.”
The lieutenant governor made her comments this morning during a statehouse news conference.
AUDIO of 20-minute news conference.
Legislators will return to the statehouse this afternoon, but there the 10-member conference committee trying to hammer out a deal on education reform does not have a meeting scheduled.