Iowa Public Television

 

Ways and Means Committee Working on a New State Budget

posted on February 22, 2005

Borg: IOWA LAWMAKERS ARE WORKING ON A NEW STATE BUDGET AND REVENUE TO FUND IT. GETTING THAT REVENUE IS CALLED WAYS AND MEANS. WE'LL QUESTION WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE CHAIRS JAMIE VAN FOSSEN OF DAVENPORT AND JOE BOLKCOM OF IOWA CITY ON THIS EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS."


FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY "FRIENDS," THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION… FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA, THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE; AND BY CAPITOL RESOURCES, INC., LOCATED IN BROOKLYN, IOWA; AND BY NICOLE SCHLINGER AND ERIC LANGE INDIVIDUALLY, FUND-RAISING AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES FOR MAJOR CAMPAIGNS SINCE 1996.

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: BEFORE DEVELOPING A SPENDING BLUEPRINT FOR THE STATE OF IOWA, LEGISLATORS MUST KNOW WHAT REVENUE WILL BE FLOWING INTO THE STATE TREASURY, AT LEAST HAVE A PRETTY GOOD FIX ON ITS INCOME AND ITS SOURCES. THAT INCLUDES TAXES, OF COURSE, AND GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK AND MANY OTHERS ARE CALLING FOR BIG CHANGES IN IOWA'S TAX STRUCTURE. MONEY TO SUPPORT THE IOWA VALUES FUND AND ITS SOURCE FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, ALSO UNCERTAIN. MEDICAID, ANOTHER BIG QUESTION. THERE'S A PUSH TO INCREASE THE TAX ON A PACK OF CIGARETTES TO HELP FILL MEDICAID'S MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR DEFICIT AND PAYING NEEDY IOWANS' HEALTH CARE BILLS. JUST A COUPLE OF THE CHALLENGES FACING THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEES. AND DAVENPORT REPUBLICAN JAMIE VAN FOSSEN CHAIRS THE HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE, AND IOWA CITY DEMOCRAT JOE BOLKCOM COCHAIRS THE SAME COMMITTEE IN THE IOWA SENATE. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME BACK TO "IOWA PRESS."

Van Fossen: IT'S GOOD TO BE HERE.

Bolkcom: THANKS, DEAN.

Borg: NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE. AND ACROSS THE IOWA PRESS TABLE: "DES MOINES REGISTER" POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN AND "ASSOCIATED PRESS" SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER MIKE GLOVER.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN, LET'S START WITH YOU, AND I DON'T REALLY WANT TO HEAR THE ARGUMENTS FOR OR AGAINST THE CIGARETTE TAX. YOU'VE BEEN AROUND THE LEGISLATURE FOR A WHILE. IS IT GOING TO PASS THIS YEAR?

Van Fossen: I THINK THAT IF WE LOOK AT, YOU KNOW, WHAT HAS GONE ON IN THE PAST THAT THIS YEAR WOULD PROBABLY BE MORE OF A PERSPECTIVE YEAR WHERE IT COULD POSSIBLY PASS.

Glover: SO YOU THINK IT MIGHT PASS?

Van Fossen: I THINK IT MIGHT.

Glover: HOW BIG?

Van Fossen: HOPEFULLY NOT AS BIG AS THE GOVERNOR HAS ASKED FOR. YOU KNOW, I COME FROM A BORDER COMMUNITY. I WANT IT TO STAY LOW, LOWER THAN ILLINOIS.

Glover: BUT ISN'T ILLINOIS RAISING ITS CIGARETTE TAX?

Van Fossen: THEY'RE LOOKING AT RAISING IT AGAIN. SEE, AND THAT ALSO PROVES THE POINT THAT IT MIGHT NOT BE A STABLE SOURCE OF REVENUE. HERE THEY ARE A FEW YEARS LATER HAVING TO RAISE THE CIGARETTE TAX AGAIN. THAT'S WHY I CAUTION AGAINST USING IT AS A STABLE SOURCE FOR MEDICAID OR WHATEVER OTHER FUNDING STREAM.

Glover: SENATOR BOLKCOM, SAME QUESTION TO YOU. DON'T GIVE ME THE ARGUMENT FOR OR AGAINST THE CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE. IS IT GOING TO PASS THIS YEAR?

Bolkcom: I THINK THERE'S BIPARTISAN SUPPORT TO MOVE THE TOBACCO TAX FORWARD. I HAD A CONVERSATION WITH SENATOR ZIEMAN, THE COCHAIR OF THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE IN THE SENATE, AND SENATOR ZIEMAN IS INTERESTED IN HAVING A SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE CURRENT BILL AT A DOLLAR INCREASE AND BRINGING THAT BEFORE THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE. AND I SUSPECT IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS, WE'RE GOING TO SEE ACTION TO GET THE DISCUSSION GOING ON THIS TAX INCREASE.

Glover: GOVERNOR VILSACK ASKED FOR 80 CENTS PER PACK.

Bolkcom: THAT'S CORRECT.

Glover: A BUNCH OF HEALTH GROUPS HAVE ASKED FOR A DOLLAR A PACK. WHERE DO YOU THINK IT'S GOING TO END UP?

Bolkcom: I THINK THAT WE'RE GOING TO ROLL A DOLLAR INTO THE COMMITTEE -- I SURE HOPE WE DO -- AND SEE WHAT FOLKS WANT TO DO. WE KNOW THAT IT WILL SAVE LIVES, AND WE CAN USE THE MONEY TO SUPPORT HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS. IOWANS ARE ON BOARD ON THIS. IT'S TIME THE LEGISLATURE CATCH UP TO WHERE IOWA IS ON THIS ISSUE.

Yepsen: SENATOR IVERSON HAS SAID YESTERDAY IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. NOW, IN THE 25/25 SENATE, WITH YOUR RULES WHERE EITHER LEADER CAN KILL A BILL, WHY DO YOU THINK THIS THING HAS A CHANCE NOW?

Bolkcom: I THINK THE VAST MAJORITY OF IOWANS THINK WE OUGHT TO DO THIS, AND I THINK WE NEED SOME LEADERSHIP ON THIS ISSUE TO PUT IT BEFORE THE BODY. THERE'S BIPARTISAN SUPPORT IN THE SENATE. AND I THINK SENATOR IVERSON IS SOFTER ON THIS THAN HE'S MAKING IT OUT TO BE IN HIS COMMENTS.

Glover: IS THIS A BARGAINING TACTIC, REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN, PEOPLE TALKING TOUGH TO DRIVE DOWN THE CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE THAT WILL EVENTUALLY PASS?

Van Fossen: WELL, NO, I THINK THERE'S SOME PEOPLE WHO GENERALLY BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULDN'T DO A CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE. I'M IN THAT CAMP. I DON'T THINK IT'S A STABLE SOURCE OF REVENUE. OBVIOUSLY, IF YOU WANT PEOPLE TO QUIT, WHY WOULD YOU BASE A TAX OR A REVENUE STREAM ON SOMETHING YOU WANT PEOPLE TO STOP DOING? YOU KNOW, GOVERNMENT IS THE ONE THAT GETS THE MOST OUT OF A CIGARETTE. IT SHOULDN'T SAY "MARLBORO" ON THE PACK; IT SHOULD SAY "THE STATE OF IOWA."

Yepsen: WELL, MR. VAN FOSSEN, LET'S GO TO THIS POINT OF WHAT DO WE WANT THIS TAX INCREASE TO DO.

Van Fossen: EXACTLY.

Yepsen: DO YOU WANT A TAX INCREASE TO DISCOURAGE PEOPLE FROM SMOKING, OR DO YOU WANT A TAX INCREASE THAT WILL RAISE REVENUE FOR THE STATE? I MEAN AT SOME POINT THOSE TWO COME INTO CONFLICT.

Van Fossen: EXACTLY. AND, DAVE, THAT'S THE WAY I LOOK AT IT. I LOOK AT IT FROM AN ECONOMIC STANDPOINT: YOU KNOW, WILL IT RAISE THE REVENUE THAT IT'S CLAIMED TO DO, AND WILL WE USE IT THE WAY WE SAY WE WILL USE IT? BEING FROM A BORDER COMMUNITY, IT'S UNIQUE TO SEE THAT WE ARE SELLING TENS OF THOUSANDS OF CARTONS MORE CIGARETTES THAN ILLINOIS IS RIGHT NOW. BUT IF YOU WANT TO RAISE THE MONEY, YOU'RE RAISING IT AGAIN, AS I SAID, ON SOMETHING YOU WANT PEOPLE TO QUIT. SO IT'S NOT SO MUCH A QUESTION OF IF YOU WANT PEOPLE TO QUIT OR NOT. YOU NOW, IF THAT'S THE CASE, AND I DON'T MEAN TO BE FLIP BUT WE SHOULD JUST MAKE IT ILLEGAL.

Yepsen: SENATOR BOLKCOM, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. WHAT DO YOU -- WHAT DO SENATE DEMOCRATS WANT THIS TAX TO DO? DO YOU WANT IT TO RAISE REVENUE, OR DO YOU WANT IT TO USE IT AS A MECHANISM TO DISCOURAGING PEOPLE FROM SMOKING?

Bolkcom: SURE. STUDY AFTER STUDY INDICATES THAT RAISING THE PRICE OF TOBACCO IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT WAY YOU CAN GET PEOPLE TO NOT TAKE UP THE HABIT AND TO QUIT. SO THIS IS A TWO-FER. WE GET THE HEALTH BENEFIT AND WE ALSO GET SOME MUCH NEEDED REVENUE THAT WE NEED TO PUT INTO OUR HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS TO SUPPORT MEDICAID PROGRAM.

Yepsen: WHAT ABOUT THE ARGUMENT THAT IF YOU RAISE THESE A DOLLAR A PACK, YOU'RE GOING TO ENCOURAGE BOOTLEGGING AND MORE PURCHASE OF INTERNET SALES TAX AND THAT THE REVENUES TO THE STATE WILL IN FACT DECLINE?

Bolkcom: WE'RE SPENDING ABOUT $6.40 A PACK TO MEET THE HEALTH CARE COSTS IN STATE GOVERNMENT. TAXPAYERS ARE SPENDING THAT TO MAKE THE TAX THAT IT COSTS TAXPAYERS IN MAKING UP THESE HEALTH CARE COSTS THAT WE'RE PAYING FOR. WE'RE ONLY CHARGING 36 CENTS A PACK. I THINK IT'S WELL WORTH IT TO DO IT AND WE'LL SAVE MONEY AS WE DO IT.

Borg: SENATOR BOLKCOM, DO YOU THINK THAT THE FACT THAT OTHER STATES ARE PROPOSING RAISING OR ALREADY HAVE THEIR TAX SORT OF TAKES AWAY THE ARGUMENT FOR NOT RAISING IOWA'S?

Bolkcom: I THINK THAT WE SHOULD TRY AND DO WHAT'S RIGHT FOR IOWA TAXPAYERS. WE'VE GOT ABOUT A BILLION DOLLARS IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COSTS TO DEAL WITH THE RAVAGES OF TOBACCO ILLNESS. WE NEED TO PUT THAT INTO THE EQUATION. WE SHOULDN'T COMPETE WITH OTHER STATES ON HOW MANY CITIZENS WE'RE GOING TO LET DIE FROM SMOKING TOBACCO. WE SHOULD RAISE THIS TAX. IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO. IT WILL SAVE LIVES AND WE CAN AFFORD TO FUND SOME OF OUR HEALTH CARE PRIORITIES.

Borg: REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN, YOU SAID EARLIER IN RELATION TO ILLINOIS PROPOSING RAISING THEIR TAX, THAT JUST SHOWS IT'S NOT A STABLE SOURCE OF REVENUE. I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU MEAN.

Van Fossen: WELL, THEY HAVE TO RAISE IT AGAIN. IF THEY SAID THEY WERE GOING TO GAIN A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF REVENUE FROM THE FIRST INCREASE A FEW YEARS AGO, WHY ARE THEY RAISING IT AGAIN? IT'S NOT BRINGING IN THE MONEY THAT THEY THOUGHT IT WOULD.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN, YOU'RE FROM A BORDER COMMUNITY --

Van Fossen: RIGHT.

Glover: -- AND YOU'VE RAISED THAT ISSUE IN CONNECTION WITH THE CIGARETTE TAX. THERE HAVE BEEN A BUNCH OF PROPOSALS THIS YEAR DEALING WITH BORDER COMMUNITIES AND TAXES AND COMPETITIVENESS OF OTHER STATES. GIVE ME YOUR SENSE OF WHICH OF THESE BORDER ISSUES HAS A CHANCE THIS YEAR.

Van Fossen: WE'RE LOOKING AT A NUMBER OF ISSUES. WHEN I CAME INTO SESSION, I HAD A HANDFUL OF GOALS. ONE OF THEM WAS THE SECOND PASSAGE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT THAT WOULD ALLOW PEOPLE A SECOND CHANCE TO VOTE ON TAX INCREASES. I WANT TO LOOK AT SOCIAL SECURITY AND PENSION TAXES, THE BORDER ISSUES YOU MENTIONED, AND ALSO PROPERTY TAX. I WANT TO LOOK AT PROPERTY TAXES TOO. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF IDEAS THAT HAVE COME UP. THERE'S AN IDEA OUT THERE ABOUT ALLOWING BORDER COMMUNITIES TO NOT HAVE TO CHARGE INCOME TAX BUT REPLACE IT WITH SOMETHING ELSE. IOWANS FOR DISCOUNTED TAXES HAS A PLAN THAT WOULD GO TO A FLAT TAX. IT WOULD BE KIND OF A SIDE-BY-SIDE COMPARISON. YOU COULD CHOOSE EITHER WAY YOU WANT TO GO. THOSE ARE GREAT IDEAS I THINK WE SHOULD CONSIDER. ON THE IDEA OF NOT PAYING THE TAX AND USING SOMETHING ELSE TO REPLACE IT, I DON'T THINK PEOPLE IN MY COMMUNITY ARE LOOKING AT REPLACING THE INCOME TAX JUST TO PAY THE SAME AMOUNT OF TAX. I THINK WE HAVE TO TRULY LOOK AT SOMETHING THAT WOULD LOWER THE TAX. THE SAME IN SOUTH DAKOTA; THEY HAVE NO INCOME TAX THERE. WE NEED TO LOOK AT A FLATTER, LOWER INCOME TAX.

Glover: WHICH OF THOSE HAS A REALISTIC CHANCE FOR APPROVAL?

Van Fossen: WELL, RIGHT NOW I'M OPTIMISTIC. I MEAN WHEN WE CAME INTO THE SESSION IN DECEMBER, THE IOWA TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION, THE GOVERNOR MENTIONED PENSION TAXES, HE MENTIONED SOCIAL SECURITY TAXES, HE MENTIONED THE FACT THAT HE WAS IN FAVOR OF PASSING A -- THE SECOND CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BUT THEN ALSO LOOKING AT LOWERING THE RATES AND MAYBE ELIMINATING FEDERAL DEDUCTABILITY. I'VE ALWAYS SAID THAT WE HAVE TO PASS A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT FIRST, THOUGH. I THINK IN LINE WITH WHAT THE GOVERNOR SAID AND WHAT WE'VE BEEN SAYING FOR A COUPLE YEARS, NEXT WEEK I WILL -- EXCUSE ME, PASS OUT OF COMMITTEE -- WE WILL PASS OUT OF COMMITTEE SOCIAL SECURITY AND PENSION TAX AND WE WILL TAKE A LOOK AT THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT NEXT WEEK.

Yepsen: WHEN YOU SAY SOCIAL SECURITY AND PENSION TAX, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

Van Fossen: RIGHT. FIVE-YEAR PHASEOUT OF BOTH.

Glover: AND HOW MUCH WOULD THAT BE?

Van Fossen: IT'S VARIED FROM 60 MILLION EACH TO A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN THAT.

Glover: SENATOR BOLKCOM, ALL THESE IDEAS THAT ARE FLOATING AROUND ABOUT BORDER COMMUNITIES. YOU'RE NOT FROM A BORDER COMMUNITY, BUT YOU'VE HEARD THE ARGUMENTS. WHICH OF THOSE DO YOU THINK HAS A CHANCE IN A VERY NARROWLY DIVIDED SENATE?

Bolkcom: WELL, I THINK WE NEED TO HAVE A MORE BROAD CONTEXT OF THIS CONVERSATION. REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN AND HIS PARTY HAVE BEEN IN CONTROL OF THE TAX WRITING OF BOTH COMMITTEES IN BOTH HOUSES FOR THE LAST EIGHT YEARS, AND THE TAX SYSTEM IN OUR STATE IS A MESS. THEY'VE NOT MANAGED THE MONEY WELL. WE'VE BORROWED MORE THAN TWO BILLION DOLLARS TO MAKE OUR BUDGET. WE SPENT A MASSIVE SURPLUS. MOST IOWA TAXPAYERS HAVE NOT SEEN TAX RELIEF. WE NEED A MORE BALANCED APPROACH TO TAX POLICY. WE CONTINUE TO GET A VARIETY OF IDEAS PUT FORWARD. I'M OPEN TO LOOKING AT ALL THE NEW IDEAS THAT ARE COMING FORWARD TO SEE HOW WE CAN PROVIDE SOME BALANCE IN OUR TAX POLICY IN IOWA.

Yepsen: SENATOR BOLKCOM, YOU COME FROM IOWA CITY. THERE'S PROBABLY NO OTHER COUNTY IN THE STATE THAT GETS MORE TAX REVENUE THAN JOHNSON COUNTY. ISN'T YOUR POSITION BASICALLY TO RAISE AS MUCH REVENUE AS YOU CAN SO YOU CAN GET MORE MONEY IN IOWA CITY?

Bolkcom: I THINK IT'S EXPECTED THAT WE IN DES MOINES HAVE A BALANCED APPROACH TO TAX POLICY, AND I DON'T THINK WE'VE HAD THAT. AND IT'S HAD A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE PRIORITIES OF IOWANS TO FUND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS, TO FUND A GOOD EDUCATION SYSTEM, AND TO MEET OUR HEALTH CARE PRIORITIES. AND I THINK THAT BORROWING TWO BILLION DOLLARS OVER THE LAST FOUR OR FIVE YEARS, THE TAX POLICY OF THE REPUBLICANS, BORROW AND SPEND, HAS NOT SERVED THOSE PRIORITIES OF EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

Yepsen: WHAT ABOUT MIKE'S QUESTION ABOUT BORDER AREAS? A THIRD OF IOWANS LIVE IN THE TIERS OF COUNTIES AROUND OUR BORDERS. IT'S REAL EASY FOR THEM TO TAKE ECONOMIC ACTIVITY ACROSS STATE LINES: YOU BUY CLOTHES IN MINNESOTA; YOU BUY YOUR GAS IN MISSOURI; YOU RETIRE IN ILLINOIS. HOW DOES THE LEGISLATURE RESPOND TO THAT SPECIFIC ISSUE OF BORDER AREAS?

Bolkcom: WELL, I THINK WE'VE ALWAYS HAD THIS ISSUE. WE'VE ALWAYS HAD BORDER COMMUNITIES, AND WE'VE ALWAYS HAD THESE KINDS OF PRESSURES. AND I THINK -- AS I SAID, I AM INTERESTED IN ENTERTAINING THE IDEAS THAT ARE COMING FORWARD, AND THERE ARE A NUMBER OF INTERESTING IDEAS TO TRY AND ASSIST THOSE COMMUNITIES. THAT SAID, I THINK WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO INVEST IN OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM TO MAKE US MORE COMPETITIVE THAN ILLINOIS, IN SOUTH DAKOTA. IN OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM, WE NEED A BETTER JOBS PROGRAM, AND WE NEED TO MEET THE HEALTH CARE NEEDS OF IOWANS.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN, WHEN GOVERNOR VILSACK DELIVERED HIS CONDITION OF THE STATE MESSAGE AND EVEN BEFORE THAT, HE HAD PROPOSED ELIMINATING FEDERAL DEDUCTABILITY, LOWERING -- USING THAT MONEY, THE MONEY THAT WOULD GENERATE, TO LOWER INCOME TAX RATES ACROSS THE BOARD AND TO LOWER SOME OTHER TAXES. SINCE THEN -- AND THERE WAS KIND OF A FLURRY AROUND THAT. SINCE THEN I'VE HEARD ALMOST NOTHING ABOUT THAT. IS THAT GOING ANYWHERE?

Van Fossen: WELL, I THINK WHAT YOU'VE HEARD WAS THAT WE NEEDED ON OUR SIDE TO LOOK AT A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT THAT WOULD PROTECT FROM TAXES GOING UP. WE ALL REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED IN THE LATE '80S WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PROMISED IF YOU TAKE THESE CREDITS AWAY, WE'LL LOWER YOUR TAXES, AND THEN IN THE EARLY '90S THEY RAISE YOUR TAXES AGAIN. NOW, I HAVEN'T CHANGED MY POSITION ON THAT, SO WE NEED A SECOND PASSAGE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. THEN WE'LL LOOK AT THOSE IDEAS OF LOWERING THE RATES. I DO WANT TO SAY JUST TO BACK UP A STEP ON WHAT REPRESENTATIVE BOLKCOM -- WE SEE THE WORLD IN A TOTALLY DIFFERENT WAY. I SEE THE TAX POLICY THAT WE'VE DONE IN THE PAST AS IT HAS WORKED. I MEAN WE SET ASIDE MONEY IN THE EARLY '90S FOR RAINY DAY, AND WE HAD THE RAINY DAY IN EARLY 2000. WE DID TAX CUTS THAT DID INCREASE REVENUE TO THE STATE. YOU LOOK AT STATES THAT HAVE INCREASED TAXES DURING THE RECESSION, AND THEY'RE THE LAST ONES TO COME OUT OF THE RECESSION.

Yepsen: BUT SENATOR BOLKCOM --

Van Fossen: WE'RE COMING OUT -- WE'RE COMING OUT AND ILLINOIS IS DOING TERRIBLE AND THEY RAISED TAXES.

Yepsen: SENATOR BOLKCOM IS CORRECT WHEN HE SAYS THE STATE BORROWED A LOT OF MONEY. YOUR OWN STATE AUDITOR, A REPUBLICAN, IS SAYING YOU CLEANED OUT A LOT OF FUNDS TO MEET THE BUDGET.

Van Fossen: SURE, THAT'S WHAT THOSE FUNDS WERE THERE FOR.

Yepsen: SO WILL THIS LEGISLATURE START REPAYING THOSE FUNDS NOW THAT YOUR TAX REVENUES --

Van Fossen: ABSOLUTELY. THE REVENUES ARE COMING BACK AND THAT'S WHAT WE'LL DO. I MEAN THE TAX POLICY THAT WE'VE DONE IS INCREASING REVENUES. WE ARE UP ALMOST 8 PERCENT IN THE STATE OF IOWA, SO THE TAX POLICY THAT WE DID IN THE '90S IS WORKING.

Glover: JUST TO BE CLEAR, THIS SESSION OF THE IOWA LEGISLATURE IS NOT GOING TO ELIMINATE FEDERAL DEDUCTABILITY AND REVAMP THE INCOME TAX SYSTEM.

Van Fossen: WE'LL PUT OUT -- WE'LL CERTAINLY LOOK AT A BILL TO DO THAT BUT, NO, IT WILL NOT PASS UNLESS WE HAVE THAT CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTION.

Glover: SO IT HAS TO WAIT UNTIL A FUTURE SESSION?

Van Fossen: YES.

Glover: SENATOR BOLKCOM, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. WE'VE HEARD A LOT OF TALK ABOUT REVAMPING THE STATE'S INCOME TAX SYSTEM, MOST OF IT ROOTED IN ELIMINATING FEDERAL DEDUCTABILITY, USING THAT MONEY TO DO A BUNCH OF STUFF WITH. IS THAT JUST NOT GOING TO HAPPEN?

Bolkcom: I HOPE WE CAN HAVE A MEANINGFUL DEBATE ABOUT IT. I THINK WE OUGHT TO ELIMINATE FEDERAL DEDUCTABILITY.

Glover: WHY HAVEN'T I -- I HAVEN'T HEARD A BILL DISCUSSED ABOUT THAT SINCE --

Bolkcom: THERE ARE COMMITTEES MEETING ON THE GOVERNOR'S EFFORT TO TRY AND ADDRESS SOME OF THE ISSUES OF TAXATION, MOSTLY FOCUSED ON PROPERTY TAXES. AND WE OUGHT TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT IT. THE TAX SYSTEM IS A MESS IN THIS STATE, AND ONE WAY TO FIX IT IS TO ELIMINATE FEDERAL DEDUCTABILITY.

Glover: AND THERE ARE ALL THESE QUESTIONS THAT WOULD CALL FOR A FUNDAMENTAL RESTRUCTURING OF MANY, MANY TAX SYSTEMS IN THE STATE. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN IN A SENATE THAT'S TIED 25/25?

Bolkcom: WELL, I THINK THERE'S SOME OPPORTUNITY, ACTUALLY, MIKE,. YOU KNOW, WE BOTH HAVE JOINT -- YOU KNOW, WITH EQUAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAKING GOVERNMENT WORK, WE HAVE EQUAL RESPONSIBILITY TO WORK ON THESE REFORMS. AND I THINK THERE'S SOME OPPORTUNITY THERE IF WE HAVE THE LEADERSHIP TO MOVE IT AHEAD.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN, AS YOU MENTIONED, I DON'T THINK YOU AND SENATOR BOLKCOM SEE THE WORLD THROUGH THE SAME GLASSES --

Van Fossen: THE SAME EYES, RIGHT.

Glover: AND THE HOUSE IS ALMOST AS EQUALLY DIVIDED; IT'S AT 51/49. HOW CAN YOU ASK A LEGISLATIVE BODY THAT EQUALLY DIVIDED TO DO FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES IN THINGS LIKE TAX POLICY? ISN'T THAT A LITTLE UNREALISTIC?

Van Fossen: WELL, IT MAY BE UNREALISTIC BUT I'M ALWAYS THE OPTIMIST. I THINK THAT IF WE HAD SOME LEADERSHIP BOTH FROM THE LEGISLATURE, US SITTING AT THIS TABLE, AS WELL AS THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE -- YOU KNOW, THE PROBLEM WITH THE GOVERNOR'S PLANS IS HE ALWAYS LAYS THEM OUT THERE, BUT I'VE NOT SEEN ANY DETAILS. HE HAS NOT SENT UP A TAX BILL SINCE HE MENTIONED THAT IN DECEMBER. HE, ON PROPERTY TAXES, SAID, YEAH, WE NEED REFORM, POINTS OUT THINGS WE KNOW. FOR SEVENTY YEARS THE PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM HAS HAD PROBLEMS, BUT I'VE NOT SEEN SOLUTIONS COME FROM THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE. THE GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE IS A GOOD STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, BUT WE NEED A LOT OF LEADERSHIP FROM BOTH SIDES.

Yepsen: SENATOR BOLKCOM, YOU RAISE AN INTERESTING QUESTION ON THE FACT THAT THE STATE HAS HAD TO BORROW A LOT OF MONEY TO MEET ITS SPENDING IN THE LAST FEW YEARS. ISN'T AN OPTION FOR THIS LEGISLATURE TO DO NOTHING, THAT WE DON'T MAKE CHANGES TO OUR TAX SYSTEM AND WE DON'T SPEND A LOT OF MONEY? WITH TAX REVENUES POURING IN AT A RATE OF 8 PERCENT ABOVE LAST YEAR, THE LAW WILL AUTOMATICALLY MEAN THOSE FUNDS START GETTING REPAID. WHY ISN'T DOING NOTHING AN OPTION?

Bolkcom: BECAUSE I THINK IOWANS DESERVE AND EXPECT SOME RESULTS. THE PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM IS A MESS. THE STATE INCOME TAX IS A MESS. THEY WOULD LIKE TO SEE SOME REFORMS TO SEE A MORE PROGRESSIVE, EASIER-TO-UNDERSTAND INCOME TAX SYSTEM. EVERYBODY IS UNHAPPY ABOUT THE PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM.

Yepsen: WHEN DO WE PAY THE BILLS, THOUGH?

Bolkcom: WELL, I THINK WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WHATEVER WE DO, IT'S REVENUE NEUTRAL. WE NEED RESOURCES TO MEET OUR EDUCATION COMMITMENTS. WE NEED RESOURCES TO CONTINUE TO INVEST IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

Yepsen: EXCUSE ME. YOU'RE CRITICAL OF REPUBLICANS FOR BORROWING MONEY WHEN THEY WERE IN THE MAJORITY, AND THE GOVERNOR PARTICIPATED IN THAT AS WELL. MY QUESTION TO YOU, SIR, IS WHEN DO YOU START PUTTING THAT MONEY BACK IN.

Bolkcom: I THINK WE START PUTTING IT BACK IN AS SOON AS WE CAN GET THE SUPPORT TO DO IT, AS SOON AS VOTES ARE THERE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. A LOT OF REPUBLICANS I TALK TO SAY DOING NOTHING IS NOT A BAD IDEA AT ALL.

Van Fossen: WELL, YOU KNOW, WE ARE -- IT HAS WORKED HOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO. WE DID SET ASIDE A RAINY DAY FUND. WE HAD BORROWED, IF YOU WANT TO SAY THAT. WE'VE TAKEN MONEY FROM THE SENIOR LIVING TRUST FUND. NOW THE MONEY IS STARTING TO FLOW BACK AFTER THE RECESSION. WE HELD OUR POWDER. WE DIDN'T RAISE TAXES. WE RESISTED THAT URGE TO RAISE TAXES. YOU LOOK AT ILLINOIS AND THEY'RE FIVE BILLION IN THE HOLE. THEIR TAX RATE -- THEIR TAX REVENUE COMING INTO THE STATE IS ABOUT 2 PERCENT. WE'RE AT 8 PERCENT, SO WE'RE DOING THE RIGHT THINGS. I'VE CAUTIONED PATIENCE ALL ALONG, THAT WHEN REVENUES TURN AROUND, THEY WILL COME IN BETTER. BUT IT DOESN'T STOP US FROM LOOKING AT IDEAS. I WILL SAY WHEN I SAY LOOK AT TAX REFORM OR REFORMING TAXES OR PROPERTY TAXES, I DON'T NECESSARILY MEAN THAT THEY'RE GOING TO BE REVENUE NEUTRAL. I WANT TO LOOK AT PEOPLE PAYING LESS. I DON'T WANT TO SEE A SHIFT TO RESIDENTAL AND PROPERTY TAXES. SO IT WOULD BE MAYBE NOT A IDEA TO PASS A BUDGET AND MOVE ON. WE DID PUT IN PLACE, LAST YEAR, STARTING TO REPAY THE SENIOR LIVING TRUST FUND AND SOME OF THOSE OTHER FUNDS. THAT MONEY, AS DAVID MENTIONED, WILL AUTOMATICALLY START TO FLOW BACK INTO THE RAINY DAY FUND, ET CETERA. SO THAT MIGHT NOT BE A BAD IDEA. THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE GOVERNOR'S PLAN -- OR THE GOVERNOR'S BUDGET LOOKS AT SPENDING MORE MONEY.

Borg: SENATOR BOLKCOM, SOME TAKE A LONGER VISION -- AND THE LEGISLATURE HAS DONE THAT IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS -- AND TRIED FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, FOR MORE TAX REVENUE WAY DOWN THE LINE IF WE CAN DEVELOP IOWA'S ECONOMY. THE VALUES FUND IS SUPPOSED TO DO THAT. BUT HOW IS THAT GOING TO BE FUNDED, DO YOU THINK?

Bolkcom: WELL, TO BACK UP AND TO COME BACK TO THAT, A DO-NOTHING APPROACH IS UNACCEPTABLE. WE'VE HAD PLENTY OF DO-NOTHING LEGISLATURES OVER THE LAST EIGHT YEARS WHERE REPUBLICANS CONTROLLED ESSENTIALLY THE AGENDA, AND IOWANS ARE UNSATISFIED WITH THAT. I THINK THE ELECTION RESULTS TOLD US THAT. DEMOCRATS GAINED IN BOTH THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE, AND SO I THINK WE NEED TO DO BETTER AND WE NEED A PROGRESSIVE AGENDA TO DO IT. THE IOWA VALUES FUND IS ONE OPPORTUNITY THAT WOULD BASICALLY RECOGNIZE THAT WE HAVE WORK TO DO IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. HOW WE FUND IT IS TO BE DECIDED AT THIS POINT. THE GOVERNOR HAS A PROPOSAL. THERE'S PROPOSALS TO BORROW SOME MONEY, TO --

Yepsen: WHAT DO SENATE DEMOCRATS WANT TO DO?

Bolkcom: I THINK THERE'S SUPPORT IN THE SENATE CAUCUS FOR A VALUES PROGRAM AND AN AGGRESSIVE EFFORT TO CREATE BETTER PAYING JOBS.

Yepsen: I UNDERSTAND THAT BUT HOW DO YOU PAY FOR IT? THE QUESTION IS HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH THE MONEY.

Bolkcom: I THINK THE DETAILS OF THAT ARE STILL BEING WORKED ON BY THE KEY PEOPLE IN OUR CAUCUS THAT HAVE ENGAGED IN THAT CONVERSATION.

Borg: HOW MANY MILLION DOLLARS?

Bolkcom: WELL THE GOVERNOR -- THERE'S DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN ANYWHERE FROM $500- AND $800 MILLION.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN, THE DETAILS SUCH AS HOW WE PAY FOR IT, HOW DOES THAT PLAY WITH THE HOUSE REPUBLICANS?

Van Fossen: WELL, THERE'S VARIOUS -- WITHIN THE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS, THERE'S VARIOUS OPINIONS, I THINK, AS WELL AS BETWEEN THE HOUSE REPUBLICANS AND THE SENATE REPUBLICANS, THE HOUSE REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, SENATE DEMOCRATS. AS SENATOR BOLKCOM HAS MENTIONED, IF HE THINKS IT'S BEEN DO NOTHING WITH THE REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE, HE FORGETS THE LEADER OF HIS PARTY SITS DOWNSTAIRS WITH A VETO PEN AND HAS STOPPED A LOT OF GOOD LEGISLATION THAT I THINK WE'VE PASSED. IF YOU ALL REMEMBER RECENTLY THAT THE GOVERNOR LINE-ITEM VETOED AND PUT INTO CHAOS THE ECONOMIC PLANS AND TAX PLANS THAT WE HAD WITH THE ORIGINAL GROW IOWA VALUES FUND. HOW DO WE PAY FOR IT? I'M LOOKING CURRENTLY AT PLANS, AS I MENTIONED, LOOKING AT FLATTER TAXES. THERE'S A CONSTITUENT OF MINE WHO HAS COME FORWARD WITH A PLAN LOOKING FORWARD AT HAVING A TAX CREDIT FOR COMPANIES THAT CREATE JOBS FOR FIVE YEARS. THERE ARE OTHER ALTERNATIVES TO US JUST SPENDING MONEY ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. I REMEMBER RECENTLY, YOU KNOW, THE STATE IS NOT THAT GOOD AT PICKING WINNERS AND LOSERS. WE ALL KNOW ACCESS AIR HAS FAILED. I'M LOOKING AT OTHER ALTERNATIVES. I THINK HOUSE REPUBLICANS ON THE ECONOMIC GROWTH COMMITTEE ARE LOOKING AT POSSIBLY BORROWING THE MONEY AND THEN PAYING IT BACK -- BONDING THE MONEY AND PAYING IT BACK WITH GAMBLING DOLLARS.

Yepsen: MR. VAN FOSSEN, I WANT TO CHANGE GEARS AND GO TO PROPERTY TAXES --

Van Fossen: RIGHT.

Yepsen: -- SINCE IT'S CLEAR YOU GUYS HAVEN'T DECIDE HOW YOU'RE GOING TO PAY FOR THE VALUES FUND.

Van Fossen: THAT'S RIGHT.

Yepsen: WHAT, AT THE END OF THE DAY, WILL THIS LEGISLATURE DO ABOUT PROPERTY TAXES? YOU'VE GOT A LOT OF IDEAS OUT THERE TO DO THINGS ABOUT THE PROPERTY TAX. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO BECOME LAW?

Van Fossen: WELL, I THINK -- AND YOU'RE RIGHT, THERE'S AT LEAST THREE MAJOR IDEAS. THE CITIES AND COUNTIES HAVE COME FORWARD WITH AN IDEA. THERE'S THE PROPERTY TAX STUDY COMMITTEE THAT STUDIED THIS ISSUE OVER THE SUMMER. SO THERE'S BEEN IDEAS BUBBLING FORWARD. AND THEN ALSO THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IS LOOKING AT POSSIBLY LIMITATIONS, ET CETERA. AT THE END OF THE DAY I THINK, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE BEEN INNOVATIVE. WE'VE LOOKED AT VARIOUS WAYS OF CHANGING PROPERTY TAXES, WHETHER THEY'VE WORKED OR NOT, SQUARE FOOT. IDEAS ARE BUBBLING UP. I HATE TO USE CLICHES LIKE "WE'VE BEEN THINKING OUT OF THE BOX," BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY I NEED TO SORT THROUGH AT LEAST THOSE THREE MAJOR PLANS. BUT AGAIN, I COME BACK TO MY BASIC THOUGHT, AND THAT IS THE PRINCIPLES THAT I'M NOT GOING TO GET AWAY FROM, WHERE WE'RE NOT GOING TO SHIFT TO RESIDENTAL AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO SEE RESIDENTAL PROPERTY TAXES INCREASE.

Yepsen: LET ME PUT A FINER POINT ON THIS.

Van Fossen: SURE.

Yepsen: WILL YOU ELIMINATE CREDITS AND EXEMPTIONS IN FAVOR OF A LOWER PROPERTY TAX FOR EVERYBODY?

Van Fossen: IF IT DOES INDEED LOWER PROPERTY TAXES, I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING WE'LL LOOK AT. IT WILL TAKE -- I THINK IT WILL TAKE -- IF WE'RE GOING TO DO ANY MAJOR PROPERTY TAX CHANGE, IT'S GOING TO TAKE AN INVESTMENT FROM THE STATE, I MEAN DOLLARS FROM THE STATE TO RELIEVE PROPERTY TAXES.

Yepsen: SENATOR BOLKCOM, SAME QUESTION. WHAT DO YOU THINK AT THE END OF THE DAY THE LEGISLATURE WILL DO ABOUT PROPERTY TAX ISSUES?

Bolkcom: WELL, I THINK IN RECENT YEARS WE'VE BEEN REALLY HARD ON PROPERTY TAXPAYERS. NOT FUNDING THE PROPERTY TAX CREDITS HAVE RESULTED IN SIGNIFICANT INCREASES AROUND THE STATE IN PROPERTY TAXES. THE THING THAT IS OF MOST CONCERN TO ME IS THE ISSUE OF MAKING OUR BUSINESS CLIMATE MORE COMPETITIVE AND LOOKING AT COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TAX RATES --

Yepsen: HOW DO YOU GET THOSE DOWN?

Bolkcom: -- AND DEALING WITH THE RESIDENTAL ROLLBACK AND LOOKING AT THE DECOUPLING OF RESIDENTAL VALUES FROM AG LAND VALUES. I THINK THOSE ARE THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO WORK TOWARDS. THE GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE HAS A COMMITTEE WORKING ON THAT. AS YOU INDICATE, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF PROPOSALS. AND I THINK IT'S -- WE NEED TO GET THE BEST LINES TOGETHER AND WORK FOR REFORMS.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN, ONE ITEM THAT'S BEEN TALKED ABOUT IN THIS WHOLE GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE THING IS THE IDEA OF UNLINKING PROPERTY TAXES WITH SCHOOL FINANCES, FINDING ANOTHER WAY TO FINANCE SCHOOLS. PROPONENTS OF THAT ARGUE THAT PROPERTY DISPARITIES AROUND THE STATE ARE SUCH THAT SCHOOL DISTRICT FUNDING VARIES WILDLY FROM DISTRICT TO DISTRICT.

Van Fossen: EXACTLY.

Glover: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT IDEA?

Van Fossen: WELL, I THINK OBVIOUSLY THAT'S ONE WAY OF WE'RE LOOKING AT MAYBE PUTTING MORE MONEY INTO THE FOUNDATION FORMULA AND ALSO EVENING THOSE LEVIES UP, BECAUSE YOU REALLY CAN'T TALK ABOUT COMBINATION OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS WHEN YOU HAVE SIDE-BY-SIDE DISTRICTS WHERE ONE MAY BE LEVYING PROPERTY TAXES AT 540 AND ANOTHER ONE AT $1.20. SO THAT'S -- IT WILL TAKE MORE INVESTMENT FROM THE STATE. THE STATE WILL HAVE TO TAKE ON MORE OF THAT COST BEFORE YOU CAN LOOK AT COMBINATIONS AND ALSO GETTING EFFICIENCIES --

Glover: ARE YOU WILLING TO LOOK AT THE CONCEPT OF NOT USING PROPERTY TAXES TO PAY FOR SCHOOLS?

Van Fossen: WHERE THERE WILL BE MORE STATE INVESTMENT, I THINK THAT PROPERTY TAXES DO HAVE A PLACE. I THINK WE NEED TO DEFINE WHAT PROPERTY TAXES PAY FOR IN SCHOOLS, SHOULD IT BE INFRASTRUCTURE AND HAVE INFRASTRUCTURAL SUPPORT COME FROM THE STATE. SO I AM WILLING TO LOOK AT THAT.

Glover: SENATOR BOLKCOM, SAME QUESTION TO YOU. ARE YOU WILLING TO LOOK AT THE CONCEPT OF JUST SIMPLY SHIFTING THE WAY WE PAY FOR SCHOOLS IN IOWA AND NOT USING PROPERTY TAXES?

Bolkcom: I THINK THAT IF WE'RE GOING TO PROVIDE PROPERTY TAX RELIEF, WE NEED TO BE OPEN TO THAT IDEA. I THINK, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN MOVE THE DECK CHAIRS AROUND ON THE DECK WITH ALL THESE VARIOUS PROPOSALS, BUT I THINK YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT WHAT LOCAL GOVERNMENT SPENDS THE MONEY ON. AND WHEN I THINK ABOUT IT, I THINK ABOUT THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM AND I THINK ABOUT OUR SCHOOLS AND THE REQUIREMENT, IF WE'RE GOING TO REALLY HAVE PROPERTY TAX RELIEF, TO HAVE THE STATE GOVERNMENT PICK UP MORE OF THE COST OF EITHER ONE OF THOSE OR SOME OF BOTH.

Yepsen: ONE ISSUE THAT'S FLOATING AROUND THE LEGISLATURE WOULD REQUIRE PICKUP TRUCKS TO BE TAXED AT A RATE SIMILAR TO OTHER TRUCKS AND CARS. SENATOR BOLKCOM, IS THAT ISSUE GOING TO GO ANYWHERE?

Bolkcom: DAVID, AT THIS POINT I DON'T SEE COMMON GROUND ON THAT ISSUE IN ANY COMPROMISE OR ANY ABILITY TO MOVE THAT FORWARD.

Yepsen: AND REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN, SO GUYS DRIVING THE CADILLAC --

Van Fossen: THERE'S A COUPLE THINGS WE'RE GOING TO AGREE ON TODAY. ONE, I AGREE WITH HIM ON MENTAL HEALTH FUNDING AND THE SCHOOLS. I THINK THOSE ARE THE BIG TWO CUTS AND TWO BURDENS THAT PROPERTY TAXPAYERS PAY. AND I DON'T THINK WE'RE GOING TO HAVE ANY RESOLUTION TO THE SUV VERSUS TRUCKS AND CARS ISSUE.

Yepsen: SO I STILL HAVE TIME TO BUY A CADILLAC ESCALADE PICKUP AND PAY A RATE SIMILAR TO WHAT FARMERS ARE PAYING.

Van Fossen: WELL, YES, YOU DO. I SHOULD PROBABLY CONSIDER THAT MYSELF.

Glover: I'M HEARING FROM BOTH OF YOU THAT A LOT OF THESE HUGE TAX IDEAS AREN'T GOING TO HAPPEN THIS YEAR. HOW CAN WE ASSUME THAT THEY'LL HAPPEN NEXT YEAR IN AN ELECTION YEAR? AREN'T YOU SAYING IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN UNTIL AFTER THE NEXT ELECTION, REPRESENTATIVE VAN FOSSEN?

Van Fossen: YOU KNOW, I THINK THEY'RE STILL -- WE'RE STILL WORKING. WE'RE MOVING THE BALL FORWARD, I SHOULD SAY. CERTAINLY WE CAN GET TOGETHER AND FIGURE OUT SOME OF THESE ISSUES WITH THE SENATE AND WITH THE SENATE COCHAIRS. WHEN IT COMES TO AN ELECTION YEAR, YOU KNOW IT'S MUCH MORE DIFFICULT, SO THIS IS THE YEAR TO GET THINGS SETTLED, I THINK.

Glover: SENATOR BOLKCOM?

Bolkcom: WELL, IT CAN MOVE THE BALL FORWARD, BUT I THINK THE POLICY REALLY OF THE REPUBLICANS IN THE HOUSE HAS BEEN MOSTLY THE HAIL MARY PASS. IT'S PUTTING UP AN IDEA, THROWING IT DOWN THE FIELD. IT'S INTERESTING TO WATCH IT FLY, BUT IT HITS THE GROUND. WE'VE SEEN IT ON THE UNDER-THIRTY TAX PROPOSAL. WE'VE SEEN IT ON THE FREE SENIORS.

Yepsen: SENATE REFEREE.

Van Fossen: REMEMBER, THAT WAS SENATE REPUBLICANS, BY THE WAY.

Bolkcom: IN THE SENATE, WE'RE LOOKING AT ALL PROPOSALS.

Borg: I HAVE TO CALL TIME.

Bolkcom: THANK YOU.

Borg: THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING WITH US.

Van Fossen: THANK YOU.

Borg: ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS," WE'RE MOVING FROM ONE SIDE OF THE BUDGET TO THE OTHER. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEES WAYS -- WE HAD WAYS AND MEANS TODAY. APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEES NEXT TIME. JOINING US IS REPRESENTATIVE BILL DIX FROM SHELL ROCK. HE CHAIRS THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE IN THE HOUSE. AND SENATOR BOB DVORSKY FROM CORALVILLE, HE IS THE SAME IN THE SENATE. THE IOWA SENATE IS BACK IN SESSION NEXT WEEK, AND WE'LL HAVE DVORSKY HERE. WE'LL BE BACK NEXT WEEK TOO. REGULAR AIRTIMES: 7:30 FRIDAY; SUNDAY AT NOON. I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.


CAPTIONS BY: MIDWEST CAPTIONING DES MOINES, IOWA FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY "FRIENDS," THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION… FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA; THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE; AND BY CAPITOL RESOURCES, INC., LOCATED IN BROOKLYN, IOWA; AND BY NICOLE SCHLINGER AND ERIC LANGE INDIVIDUALLY, FUND-RAISING AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES FOR MAJOR CAMPAIGNS SINCE 1996.

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