The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Clinton

April 15, 2013

End-of-session predictions made

(Continued)

Hart said she believed that Sen. Herman Quirmbach, D-Ames, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, would not quibble on the 4 percent.

Wolfe added she felt the remaining issues would be resolved by the end of the session May 3 and an agreement could be reached as early as the end of the week.

“I’m optimistic that we will get something and, I do believe in the end it’s going to be 4 percent and there will be education reform,” Wolfe said.

While a number of changes will likely be made in order for Democrats and Republicans to be satisfied with the funding and reforms for Iowa’s schools, Wolfe said she believes legislators will come to an agreement.

“There is so much money that I do believe that both parties understand that coming out of this underfunding education in any way is not going to be seen as any sort of acceptable compromise,” Wolfe said.

Legislators also discussed property tax reform and the gas tax. Hart said the property tax reform matter was in the hands of leadership.

“It’s something that supposedly is a priority. It’s something that they’re working out,” Hart said.

Increasing Iowa’s gas tax is allegedly tied up in the property tax reform issue, legislators said. Wolfe told constituents she did not believe property tax reform, nor Medicaid expansion would be settled by the end of the session.

“I don’t see how it could happen in three weeks,” Wolfe said. “There is some talk that we would just pass a basic budget bill. Then we’re going to shut things down on May 3 and we’re all going to come back in July for a second session. It’s going to be Medicaid expansion versus the Governor’s plan. Also, parallel the whole property tax, gas tax situation.”

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