As others see it: Iowa Dems must make sure the votes are there
Legislature are frustrated by the governor's veto of supplemental school funding. There are plenty of reasons to explain their frustration: * The veto dismantled weeks of arduous negotiations between Republican and Democratic lawmakers. * The Iow...
Legislature are frustrated by the governor’s veto of supplemental school funding. There are plenty of reasons to explain their frustration:
* The veto dismantled weeks of arduous negotiations between Republican and Democratic lawmakers.
* The Iowa Association of School Boards predicts that 162 Iowa school districts will have to raise property taxes to make up for the money.
* Iowa is now 35th in the nation in average per-pupil spending - and dropping.
But Democrats shouldn’t compound the problem by calling for a special session if it won’t make much difference.
If lawmakers could go back to Des Moines and undo what Gov. Terry Branstad’s veto pen did, the effort would make sense. But without assurances that they have in hand the votes to restore that $55.7 million in supplemental funding, it doesn’t.
At some point, legislators and school officials have to move on and swallow the bitter political pill.
It’s unfortunate - but not necessarily surprising - that the governor insisted the supplemental spending fell into the one-time spending category he abhors, even though lawmakers took care to make sure to specify that the money wasn’t to go toward operational expenses like salaries. It was meant to fill gaps - a one-time payment to pay for one-time expenses.
Next year, lawmakers will remember that such an arrangement won’t fly with the governor.
In the meantime, schools must do the best they can with their meager increase in state support.