Time is running out on Iowa legislators who have not yet joined the call for a special session to restore local school funding.
As of Wednesday, July 22nd, 21 of Iowa’s 50 State Senators and 36 of Iowa’s 100 State Representatives have officially requested a special session to overturn Governor Branstad’s veto of a bipartisan compromise worth almost $56 million to Iowa schools.
For a special session to take place, two-thirds of the members of each chamber must individually request it.
“I know all 43 House Democrats will stand by our vote and make educating kids our top priority again. Since the $56 million for schools received 87 votes in the Iowa House, I know there is enough support to overturn the veto in a special session if Republicans will put politics aside and stand up to their own Governor,” said House Democratic Leader Mark Smith of Marshalltown.
“I expect all 26 Democratic Senators will join the effort to overturn the school funding vetoes,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs. “For a special session to occur, eight of the 24 Republican Senators must put the interests of their local communities first. So far, not one has done that.”
The legislative leaders said Governor Branstad’s claim that fiscal responsibility required the vetoes didn’t hold up under scrutiny.
“The Governor’s own budget proposal in January sought to spend $165.8 million more than what the Legislature finally approved,” said Senate President Pam Jochum of Dubuque. “Since then, the budget estimates have only grown stronger with surplus and reserves topping $1 billion next year.”
An updated list of the signed statements from individual legislators calling for a special session that have been received at the Iowa Statehouse can be found at: http://bit.ly/special-session-requests .