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State Government News

Legislative Leaders Meet Behind Closed Doors for Budget Negotiations

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Photo by John Pemble
Iowa’s Capitol in the middle of May as the 2015 Iowa legislative session continues. It will likely end the first week of June.";

State lawmakers return to the capitol today for their third week of overtime, while the two parties remain divided over the state budget for the fiscal year that starts in July. 

Most of the work this week will be behind closed doors as the House, the Senate, and the Governor’s office strive toward a budget agreement. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R- Hiawatha) says House Republicans have not signed on to a tentative agreement on funding for K-12 schools.

"There are some who are supportive, some who are lukewarm, some are in opposition," Paulsen says. "That's what we have to work through. We need something closer to the final proposal to put before them."

The agreement would raise school funding to the level Republicans want, with some one-time spending to appeal to Democrats.   

"They have been open and respectful of some of the issues we have brought to them and we have been open and respectful of the issues they have brought to us," Senate Majority Mike Gronstal (D- Council Bluffs) says. "So we are diligently working through those."

Lawmakers are working without a daily expense allowance, since the legislature was supposed to adjourn on May 1st.