Iowa Budget

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June 6th: It looks like Monday should be a big news day in a whole bunch of ways.

Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds heads off on a trade mission trip to Asia. Governor Terry Branstad was supposed to lead that trip but since he and Democrats can’t seem to agree on a budget, he will have to stay behind. And, yes, we are still talking about the fiscal year 2012 budget for the year that begins July 1st. When people first speculated about a government shutdown in April, it seemed very unlikely, didn’t it? We are now less than 4 weeks away and it’s difficult to envision an agreement this week. Why?

At 10am Monday, the Governor begins a 43-city tour of the state his office calls “Working Together for a Better Future”. The first stop is scheduled for Ankeny. The governor is supposed to talk about his budget plans. We assume it’s essentially the same budget plans he released in January.

Also, at 10am, Senate Democrats begin what they say will be budget hearings. They’ll spend their first day talking about education during the hearing at the statehouse. They’ll work their way onto other issues as the week progresses.

So if the governor is traveling the state this week and Democrats are busy with budget hearings, how will they ever reach an agreement on this? Am I missing something?

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