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GOP Lawmakers In Iowa House And Senate Release State Spending Plans

Des Moines, Iowa — Republicans in the legislature have released their state spending plans for the budgeting year that begins July 1st.

House Republicans propose a one-point-eight percent overall increase in general state spending. House Appropriations Committee chairman Gary Mohr of Bettendorf says it includes a 31 million dollar increase in spending at the state supported universities and community colleges.

House Speaker Pat Grassley, a Republican from New Hartford, says the House GOP budget plan also includes 19 million extra for public schools to hire bus drivers, cooks and other staff.

Republicans in the Senate are proposing a state spending increase of a little less than one percent. Senate Republican Leader Jack Whitver of Ankeny says overall budget negotiations are starting far earlier than usual — alongside debates on tax policy and last week’s decision that set the level of state spending on public K-through-12 schools.

Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls says these spending levels are inadequate.

Wahls says increased state spending on higher education is critical and he points to the waiting lists at Kirkwood Community College for health-care related training.

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