Friday, April 18, 2008

News From House Minority Leader Christopher Rants

The following is from a recent newsletter sent by Iowa House Minority Leader Christopher Rants:

The End of Session is near...

Tuesday the 22nd is the last “scheduled” day of session. 100 days since we gaveled in back in January. Although, no one really knows when the Legislature will adjourn. In part because, there’s so much left to do and so much left unknown.

There are still serious budget discussions left to go. Many budgets such as: infrastructure, economic development, health and human services—Republicans (or the general public) haven’t even seen a bill for. How much money are we going to spend in these areas? No one knows. Also still out there is the infamous standings bill, which deals with salaries, standing unlimited appropriations, and generally acts a catch-all bill. We’ve seen that Democrats typically put policy bills that couldn’t stand on their own in here to generate the votes for this massive expenditure. This is a bad way to pass laws, but unfortunately that’s what we believe will happen this year.

Rest assured, Republicans will read and study each of the bills once the Democrats release them to us. We will take our time, do our due diligence, and let the public know just how big our budget is going to be. From the figures that the Democrats ARE showing us, it looks like the state budget will be AT LEAST increased by $830 million over the last two years. They offset that with $930 million increase in NEW TAXES. And yet, there has been no tax relief passed, although plenty of opportunities have been offered by Republicans.

An update for you on the Chapter 20/Collective Bargaining bill—the governor was quoted in the Des Moines Register today saying he was still looking over the bill and that the substance of the bill was giving him concerns. Democrat leaders in the House and Senate have indicated that they will be spending all weekend coordinating with the governor’s office, working through their differences on budget bills AND the Chapter 20 bill. You’ve done an incredible job reaching out to the governor and telling him to veto this damaging piece of legislation. Don’t be afraid to keep contacting him. Your efforts are putting pressure on him to do the RIGHT thing and veto the bill, keep it up!
Phone: (515) 281-5211 and email