Iowa Public Television

 

Christopher Rants

posted on January 10, 2006

Borg: A NEW SESSION OF THE IOWA LEGISLATURE. THE AGENDA FROM REPUBLICAN HOUSE SPEAKER CHRISTOPHER RANTS 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, JANUARY 6 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: WELL, THE SECOND SESSION OF IOWA'S 81ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY OFFICIALLY CONVENES MONDAY MORNING AT THE IOWA STATEHOUSE, BUT THE 2006 LEGISLATIVE PLANNING CONTINUED SINCE THE LAST SESSION ADJOURNED LAST APRIL. BOTH THE DEMOCRATIC AND THE REPUBLICAN CAUCUSES HAVE DEFINED THEIR PRIORITIES NOW AND, ALONG WITH THAT, THE POLITICAL STRATEGIES TO ACHIEVE THEM. ONE OF THE MAJOR VOICES IN SETTING THE AGENDA IS SPEAKER OF THE IOWA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, REPUBLICAN CHRISTOPHER RANTS OF SIOUX CITY. WELCOME BACK TO "IOWA PRESS."

Rants: GLAD TO BE HERE.

Borg: AND ACROSS THE IOWA PRESS TABLE: "DES MOINES REGISTER" POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN AND "ASSOCIATED PRESS" SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER AND STATEHOUSE REPORTER MIKE GLOVER.

Glover: SPEAKER RANTS, LET'S STEP BACK, IF WE COULD, JUST A MINUTE AND LOOK AT THE POLITICAL BACKDROP FOR THIS YEAR'S SESSION. IT'S AN ELECTION YEAR. IT'S A GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION YEAR. YOU'VE GOT A LEGISLATURE THAT'S TERRIBLY NARROWLY DIVIDED: A TIED SENATE; A 51/49 HOUSE. THAT SOUNDS TO ME LIKE A RECIPE FOR NOT GETTING A LOT DONE. AM I WRONG?

Rants: I KNEW ONE OF YOU TWO GUYS WAS GOING TO ASK THAT QUESTION RIGHT OFF THE BAT TODAY. LOOK, I KNOW THAT'S THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM. IT'S AN ELECTORAL YEAR AND EVERYTHING ELSE. NO, I REJECT THAT. THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS WE HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO. IOWANS WHO ARE GOING TO BE COMING TO ALL OF OUR FORUMS ON THE WEEKENDS ARE CONTACTING THEIR LEGISLATORS AS WE SPEAK ABOUT THINGS THEY WANT TO SEE US ACCOMPLISH. THEY DON'T LOWER THEIR EXPECTATIONS OF US BECAUSE IT'S AN ELECTION YEAR. YOU KNOW, IOWANS ARE A LOT MORE SENSIBLE THAN THAT. WE KNOW THE ELECTION IS THIS YEAR. THEY'RE SAYING THE ELECTION YEAR -- THE ELECTION IS A LONG WAYS AWAY. IT'S ELEVEN MONTHS AWAY. THEY'VE GOT HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR US, AND IT'S UP TO US TO MAKE SURE THAT WE DELIVER ON THOSE. I MEAN THE REALITY IS, MIKE, SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT WE'RE FOCUSING ON HAVE BIPARTISAN SUPPORT GOING INTO THE SESSION, WHETHER YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT RENEWABLE FUELS, IF YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO ON HEALTH INSURANCE POOLING. I MEAN THERE'S A MEETING GOING ON PRESESSION ON FRIDAY BEFORE WE EVEN GET STARTED, WITH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS MEETING WITH THE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER AND OTHERS, WORKING ON THAT ISSUE. YOU'VE GOT BIPARTISAN SUPPORT BEFORE THE SESSION STARTS ON DOING SOMETHING ON PROPERTY TAXES. THERE'S A NUMBER OF ISSUES THAT HAVE BIPARTISAN SUPPORT BUILT IN. I'M CONFIDENT WE'LL SEE SOME RESULTS BECAUSE OF THAT.

Glover: BUT AS A PRACTICAL MATTER, BEFORE ANYTHING CAN ADVANCE IN THIS LEGISLATURE, BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS HAVE TO AGREE ON IT.

Rants: THAT'S CORRECT.

Glover: AND REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS JUST HAVE FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT VIEWS OF A LOT OF ISSUES.

Rants: WE DO. AND I THINK THAT YOU'LL SEE THAT THOSE DIFFERENCES PLAY OUT TO THE GREATEST EXTENT WHEN IT COMES TO THE BUDGET. I MEAN THAT'S USUALLY WHERE THAT HAPPENS. I THINK THAT WILL BE VERY TRUE THIS YEAR, THAT IF WE SAVE, SORT OF, OUR FIGHTS FOR THE BUDGETARY ITEMS, THAT MEANS HOPEFULLY WE CAN MAKE SOME PROGRESS ON SOME OF THOSE OTHER POLICY ITEMS.

Yepsen: ALL RIGHT, MR. SPEAKER, THEN WHAT IS THE REPUBLICAN AGENDA? WHEN WE'RE DONE WITH THIS SESSION IN A HUNDRED OR FEWER DAYS, WHAT WILL YOU BE REMEMBERED FOR?

Rants: I HOPE THAT FIRST AND FOREMOST WE'LL BE REMEMBERED THAT WE TACKLED THE ISSUE OF TRYING TO MAKE HEALTH INSURANCE MORE AFFORDABLE IN THIS STATE FOR SMALL EMPLOYERS. YOU KNOW, IT USED TO BE THAT PEOPLE GOT WORRIED ABOUT DOUBLE-DIGIT INCREASES. RIGHT NOW, YES, SMALL EMPLOYERS ARE SEEING 20 PERCENT AND GREATER INCREASES. IT'S NOT AN EASY ISSUE. THERE ARE NO SILVER BULLETS. BUT WE'VE GOT A GROUP OF FOLKS WHO HAVE BEEN WORKING DURING THE INTERIM THAT ARE FOCUSED ON TRYING TO COPY WHAT HAS WORKED IN SOME OTHER STATES: LOOKING AT INSURANCE POOLING; LOOKING AT SOME IMPROVEMENTS TO MEDICAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS; ASKING THE QUESTION DO WE NEED TO HAVE SOME SORT OF REINSURANCE POOL OR CATASTROPHIC RISK POOL THAT THE STATE BECOMES INVOLVED IN TO HELP HOLD DOWN THOSE COSTS. THERE'S A LOT OF DIFFERENT IDEAS. THERE'S ENOUGH MOMENTUM BEHIND THIS IN LARGE PART BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE HEARING IT FROM THEIR CONSTITUENTS.

Yepsen: JUST HEALTH INSURANCE?

Rants: THAT'S NUMBER ONE. WE HAVE THIRTY MINUTES ON THIS PROGRAM, RIGHT, DAVID? THAT'S NUMBER ONE. NUMBER TWO, REPUBLICANS IN THE HOUSE ARE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE FACT THAT WHILE WE'RE PUTTING A LOT OF MONEY INTO THINGS LIKE THE VALUES FUND AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, WE'RE TURNING AROUND AND HITTING THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE EXPECTING TO CREATE JOBS WITH THE THIRD HIGHEST PROPERTY TAXES IN THE NATION. WE PASSED HOUSE FILE 847 LAST YEAR, DESIGNED TO STOP THIS CONTINUOUSLY PILING ON OF PROPERTY TAXES ON COMMERCIAL OWNERS. IT GOT STUCK IN THE SENATE. I REALIZE THAT. BUT IT PASSED THE HOUSE WITH BIPARTISAN SUPPORT. WE'RE GOING TO GO BACK TO THAT ISSUE AND SEE IF WE CAN'T GENERATE MORE SUPPORT, BECAUSE WE WILL HAVE TO REACH OUT TO OUR COLLEAGUES IN THE SENATE TO GET THAT BILL ACCOMPLISHED TO WORK ON THAT. CAN I CONTINUE?

Yepsen: WE'VE GOT THIRTY MINUTES BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU ONLY GET ONE ANSWER.

Rants: OKAY. [ LAUGHTER ]

Yepsen: HEALTH CARE AND PROPERTY TAX.

Rants: PROPERTY TAX, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT -- AND WE'RE GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT HIGHER STANDARDS FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS AND OTHERS IN EDUCATION.

Yepsen: BUT ISN'T IT ALSO TRUE, MR. SPEAKER, GOING BACK TO MIKE'S QUESTION ABOUT HOW THIS LEGISLATURE REALLY WON'T DO MUCH, THAT AT THE END OF THE SESSION YOU WON'T HAVE SOLVED THE PROBLEM OF SMALL BUSINESS HEALTH CARE? COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TAXES WILL STILL BE TOO HIGH. ECONOMIC GROWTH WILL STILL BE A PROBLEM IN IOWA. YOU CAN'T TELL US TODAY THAT THERE'S GOING TO BE ANY ONE PROBLEM YOU'RE GOING TO SOLVE.

Rants: THERE IS NOT A SILVER BULLET TO ANY OF THOSE PROBLEMS, BUT I BELIEVE YOU CAN MAKE SUBSTANTIAL PROGRESS IN ADDRESSING THOSE. SURE, IF WE PASS OUR HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM BILL -- AND SAY THAT RESULTS IN ONLY A 10-PERCENT INCREASE IN PEOPLE'S PREMIUMS OR A 5-PERCENT INCREASE IN PEOPLE'S PREMIUMS INSTEAD OF THE 20, IS THAT PERFECT, HAVE WE SOLVED THE ISSUE? NO, WE HAVEN'T. BUT HAVE WE MADE PROGRESS IN TRYING TO HOLD THAT COST DOWN? ABSOLUTELY. YOU KNOW, WE'VE SPENT A LOT OF TIME FOCUSING ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THE LAST TWO YEARS. A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK THAT ISSUE IS DONE BECAUSE THE VALUES FUND WAS PASSED. IT'S NOT. WE STILL HAVE WORK TO DO. WE'VE GOT TWO PIECES OF LEGISLATION I WANT THE HOUSE TO LOOK AT. ONE HAS TO DO WITH INTERMODAL ENTERPRISE ZONES, LOOKING AT THOSE PLACES WHERE YOU HAVE RIVER AND AIR AND RAIL AS WELL AS INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS. THAT'S A PERFECT PLACE FOR AN ENTERPRISE ZONE, BUT THAT DOESN'T FIT THE DEFINITION TODAY. THAT'S SOMETHING WE OUGHT TO LOOK AT. WE NEED TO LOOK AT WHAT THE INTERIM STUDY COMMITTEE SUGGESTED WE PASS, AND THAT IS A PILOT PROJECT TO LOOK AT INCOME TAXES IN A COUPLE COMMUNITIES IN THIS STATE THAT ARE FACING COMPETITION FROM THEIR BORDERING NEIGHBORS. THERE'S MORE WORK TO DO THERE, ABSOLUTELY.

Borg: YOU KNOW, THOSE ARE TRADITIONAL ISSUES. TAX REFORM IS ANOTHER ONE. BUT THERE ARE ISSUES THAT JUST KIND OF POP UP LIKE POPCORN. AND ONE OF THE MOST RECENT ONES IS --

Rants: I KNOW. I THINK I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO SAY.

Borg: VIDEO LOTTERY.

Rants: YEAH.

Borg: AND THE CONVENIENCE STORES HAVE THE IOWA LOTTERY, WHICH CASINOS ARE COMPLAINING ARE TOO MUCH LIKE SLOT MACHINES. CAN THE LEGISLATURE DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT?

Rants: THAT ISSUE IS GOING TO BE BEFORE US. YOU KNOW, DAVID ALWAYS SAYS IT'S NOT AN UNUSUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY UNLESS WE HAVE A GAMBLING DEBATE, AND WE ARE ABSOLUTELY GOING TO HAVE A FULL-BLOWN GAMBLING DEBATE THIS SESSION. IT'S UNAVOIDABLE. THERE'S A LOT OF CONCERN. TO BE HONEST, A LOT OF LEGISLATORS FEEL THAT ED STANEK HAS PULLED A FAST ONE ON US, AND THE IOWA LOTTERY, UNDER THE GUISE OF PULLTABS -- IF YOU LOOK AT THOSE MACHINES, THAT'S NOT A PULLTAB MACHINE TO ME. I UNDERSTAND THAT THEY GET INTO A LOT OF JARGON BECAUSE IT'S NOT A RANDOM GENERATED NUMBER. TO ME IT LOOKS LIKE A SLOT MACHINE. TO MOST IOWANS IT LOOKS LIKE A SLOT MACHINE. AND THE LEGISLATORS ARE HEARING FROM THEIR CONSTITUENTS SAYING, "WHEN DID WE AUTHORIZE A CASINO IN EVERY COMMUNITY IN THE STATE?" THAT SAID, THE OTHER PROBLEM YOU HAVE IS YOU HAVE A LOT OF IOWA BUSINESSES -- YOU'VE GOT 84 BUSINESSES IN THE STATE THAT HAVE INVESTED MONEY IN THE MANUFACTURING AND DISTRIBUTION AND PLACEMENT OF THOSE MACHINES BECAUSE THE STATE CAME TO THEM AND SAID, "HEY, WE WANT A PRIVATE/PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP, BE OUR PARTNER IN THIS." THEY IN GOOD FAITH SAID, "OKAY, WE'LL DO BUSINESS WITH IOWA." HOW DO YOU PULL THE RUG BACK FROM UNDERNEATH THEM ON THAT ISSUE?

Borg: YEAH, BUT HOW DO YOU DO IT?

Rants: THAT'S GOING TO BE TOUGH. THE GOVERNOR IS CALLING FOR A STUDY, AND HE'S PUTTING TOGETHER A COMMISSION TO LOOK AT THAT. FRANKLY, THAT'S TRYING TO WALK DOWN THE MIDDLE, TRYING TO STRADDLE THE FENCE. THE REALITY IN MY MIND IS YOU'RE EITHER GOING TO HAVE THEM OR YOU'RE GOING TO ROLL THEM ALL BACK.

Yepsen: SHOULD ED STANEK BE FIRED?

Rants: I DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT, DAVID. I AM A LEGISLATOR WHO IS VERY FRUSTRATED ABOUT THIS ISSUE. I'M VERY FRUSTRATED ABOUT THIS ISSUE BECAUSE I BELIEVE MR. STANEK HAD TO KNOW THIS WAS GOING TO BE CONTROVERSIAL. WELL, I REMEMBER AS MAJORITY LEADER, ED STANEK AND THE LOTTERY OFFICIALS CAME TO ME WHEN THEY STARTED THIS LITTLE COMPUTER DISK GAME. IT WAS ALADDIN'S CASTLE OR WHATEVER, AND THEY CAME TO SAY "WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS?" THEY'VE COME TO TALK TO US ABOUT THESE PULLTAB MACHINES. AT NO TIME DID A LOTTERY OFFICIAL SHOW UP IN MY OFFICE, SHOW US A PICTURE OF A MACHINE MADE BY BALLYS AND SAY THIS IS WHAT WE WANT TO PUT OUT IN EVERY BAR, TAVERN, AND GROCERY STORE AND CONVENIENCE STORE. THAT NEVER HAPPENED. SO WHILE THEY ARE SAYING THAT THESE ARE PULLTAB MACHINES, THAT WAS NEVER IN THE MIND OF ANY LEGISLATOR, THAT I'M AWARE OF. AND QUITE FRANKLY, I HAVE A TOUGH TIME BELIEVING THAT THE GOVERNOR THOUGHT THAT THAT WAS WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN. ULTIMATELY THAT'S THE GOVERNOR'S DECISION. THERE ARE A LOT OF LEGISLATORS THAT ARE VERY CONCERNED.

Glover: ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT EVERYBODY AT THE LEGISLATURE SAYS IS GOING TO BE DISCUSSED IN THIS SESSION IS THE STATE'S SEX ABUSE LAWS, TOUGHENING SEX ABUSE LAWS BECAUSE THE LAW YOU PASSED LAST YEAR HAS SOME HOLES IN IT. ARE YOU GOING TO ADDRESS THAT, AND AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHERE WILL YOU END UP?

Rants: WE HAVE TO HAVE A DEBATE BECAUSE THERE'S SOME CHANGES THAT DO NEED TO BE MADE TO THE BILL THAT WE PASSED LAST YEAR. YOU'VE GOT SOME COUNTY ATTORNEYS THAT ARE ASKING FOR SOME CLARIFICATION ON SOME OF THE DEFINITIONS. THERE ARE SOME REPUBLICANS THAT ARE GOING TO BE PROPOSING LEGISLATION, TAKING FIRST-TIME OFFENDERS COMMITTING A LASCIVIOUS ACT WITH A CHILD, SENDING THEM TO PRISON FOR 25 YEARS. THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT EQUATION IS WE STILL HAVE PEOPLE COMING OUT OF PRISON TODAY AND HOW DO WE DEAL WITH THOSE FOLKS. WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO SEE US DO IS TO START CLASSIFYING THOSE PEOPLE THAT ARE BEING RELEASED UPON THEIR RELEASE: ARE THEY AT A HIGH RISK TO REOFFEND OR ARE THEY AT A LOW RISK TO REOFFEND? WE HAVE TO HAVE GOOD DATA. OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS HAVE TO HAVE GOOD DATA. RIGHT NOW WE DON'T HAVE THAT. WE TREAT THEM ALL THE SAME. WE HAVE A LOT OF COMMUNITIES AND LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS ASKING US TO MAKE CHANGES IN THE 2,000-FOOT RULE, THAT THEY CAN'T LIVE BY A SCHOOL. THE REALITY IS WE NEED TO START CLASSIFYING THEM FIRST BEFORE WE REENGAGE IN THAT DEBATE.

Glover: AND IS THERE GOING TO BE AN EFFORT TO ELIMINATE THAT 2,000-FOOT RESTRICTION?

Rants: I DON'T THINK -- WELL, I CAN'T SAY THAT NO LEGISLATOR WILL FILE AN AMENDMENT. BUT MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT NONE OF THE LEADERS OF THE FOUR CAUCUSES WANT TO PUSH THAT ISSUE, SO I DOUBT THERE WILL BE A SIGNIFICANT ATTEMPT AT IT. BUT I WOULD HOPE THAT ALL FOUR CAUCUSES CAN COME TO THE AGREEMENT ON THAT WE NEED TO PUT SOME RESOURCES INTO CLASSIFYING THE OFFENDERS, AND SAVE THAT DEBATE FOR ANOTHER DAY.

Glover: AND THE HOUSE HAS ALREADY PASSED A BILL THAT WOULD REINSTATE THE DEATH SENTENCE IN IOWA. SOME SENATORS HAVE TALKED ABOUT BRINGING THAT ISSUE UP. IS IT INEVITABLE THAT ISSUE WILL BE BROUGHT UP AROUND THIS NEXT SESSION?

Rants: I IMAGINE THERE WILL BE A DEBATE OR AT LEAST THERE WILL BE AN AMENDMENT FILED, AND IT WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE SENATE. WHATEVER HAPPENS WITH THE SENATE RULES AND WHO'S PRESIDING AT THAT POINT IN TIME WILL PROBABLY DICTATE WHAT HAPPENS THERE. I'VE SAID IN THE HOUSE, IF THEY SEND IT TO US, WE'LL DEBATE IT. WHEN WE PASSED IT IN THE HOUSE, IT TOOK US THREE DAYS. IT'S A LONG, THOUGHTFUL DEBATE. IT'S VERY EMOTIONAL. IT'S ALSO VERY DRIVEN WITH A LOT OF FACTS AND A LOT OF MINUTIA IN THE LAW. WE'RE PREPARED TO DO THAT, BUT IT REALLY DOES NEED TO PASS THE SENATE FIRST.

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER, WE'VE GOT WAY TOO MANY QUESTIONS AND NOT ENOUGH TIME. A NEW PRISON -- WILL THE LEGISLATURE BUILD A NEW PRISON?

Rants: I THINK WE WILL HAVE A DISCUSSION ABOUT THAT. I AM CONFIDENT THAT THE BUDGET SUBCOMMITTEE ON THAT WILL BE HOLDING HEARINGS ON THAT. WHETHER OR NOT WE'LL MAKE THAT DECISION THIS YEAR I THINK WILL DICTATE WHAT WE GET IN THOSE HEARINGS.

Yepsen: THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, ON THIS PROGRAM, SAID HE WANTS $17 MILLION MORE FOR DRUG TREATMENT PROGRAMS. WILL THE LEGISLATURE -- MORE MONEY? THAT MUCH MONEY?

Rants: THERE MAY BE MORE MONEY BUT IT CERTAINLY WON'T BE THAT MUCH MONEY. LOOK, DAVID, WE'VE GOT A 3-PERCENT REVENUE GROWTH ESTIMATE. THAT'S $268 MILLION. THAT $268 MILLION IS ALREADY COMMITTED. $100 MILLION TO K-12 EDUCATION. YOU KNOW, MEDICAID IS PROBABLY GOING TO COST US $150 MILLION. AND THEN THE GOVERNOR'S COLLECTIVE BARGAINING, WHICH WE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH, IS GOING TO COST US 86. SO THAT MONEY IS ALREADY COMMITTED. IF SANTA CLAUS WERE TO DROP $17 MILLION IN THE CAPITOL ON CHRISTMAS EVE, I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE PUT THAT MONEY INTO LIHEAP BEFORE I PUT IT IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE. THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT OF DEMANDS. WE'VE GOT A LOT OF TOUGH CHOICES TO MAKE.

Yepsen: AND THERE'S ALWAYS TALK ABOUT -- THERE'S BEEN SOME TALK RECENTLY ABOUT TURNING KNOXVILLE, THE FEDERAL VETERANS HOME -- OR HOSPITAL, INTO A DRUG -- A STATE-RUN DRUG TREATMENT FACILITY. IS THAT AN OPTION THAT'S BEING TALKED ABOUT HERE?

Rants: THAT'S BEEN TALKED ABOUT FOR YEARS. I DON'T KNOW THAT THAT'S SOMETHING WE HAVE THE RESOURCES TO DO THIS COMING YEAR.

Glover: THIS WEEKEND, THE WEEKEND BEFORE THE LEGISLATURE BEGINS, THE STATE'S TEACHER UNION HAS ASKED FOR $172 MILLION OVER THREE YEARS TO INCREASE TEACHER PAY TO MAKE IOWA 25TH IN THE NATION. THE GOVERNOR HAS ASKED FOR AT LEAST $30 MILLION A YEAR FOR FIVE YEARS TO DO THE SAME THING. IS THERE ENOUGH MONEY TO DO THAT?

Rants: NO. EITHER OF THOSE PROPOSALS WOULD REQUIRE A VERY SIGNIFICANT TAX INCREASE, AND NOT JUST A TOBACCO TAX OR A BEER TAX OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT SOME SORT OF SALES TAX INCREASE TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT IN PERPETUITY. I DON'T SEE THAT HAPPENING. TO BE HONEST, WE REALIZE WE HAVE A CHALLENGE AHEAD OF US WHEN IT COMES TO TEACHER SALARIES, IN LARGE PART BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT WE'VE GOT A LOT OF RETIREMENTS GOING ON. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT WITH FINITE RESOURCES, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO PRIORITIZE WHERE YOU PUT DOLLARS. AND THAT'S WHERE THE DEBATE IS GOING TO START. FOR ME, I WOULD SAY THE FIRST EMPHASIS OUGHT TO BE ON MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHERS. WE KNOW THAT WE ARE GOING TO LOSE A LOT OF THOSE FOLKS. WE ALSO KNOW THAT KIDS THAT HAVE AN INCLINATION OF BEING INVOLVED IN MATH AND SCIENCES ARE PROBABLY GOING TO GO INTO A MORE LUCRATIVE FIELD SOMEPLACE ELSE. NOW, I KNOW THAT HISTORY AND ENGLISH TEACHERS DON'T LIKE TO HEAR ME SAY THIS: WE PROBABLY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY MORE TO GET THE MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHERS WE WANT. LET'S FOCUS ON THAT FIRST. SECOND FOCUS OUGHT TO BE STARTING SALARIES FOR NEW TEACHERS. PART OF THE REASON WHY YOU SEE THE DECLINE IN IOWA'S RANKING IS WE ARE ON THAT BUBBLE. WE ARE HAVING A LOT OF MORE EXPERIENCED TEACHERS WHICH ARE AT THE HIGHER END OF THE PAY SCALE RETIRING, REPLACING THEM WITH LOWER COST, SO TO SPEAK, TEACHERS. BUT WE STILL -- IF WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO RECRUIT NEW TEACHERS -- AND THAT NEEDS TO BE OUR EMPHASIS -- NEW TEACHERS, THAT WILL BE A PLACE WE HAVE TO LOOK. LET'S PRIORITIZE AND LOOK AT THOSE TWO AREAS FIRST.

Glover: AND THE TEACHER UNION AT THE SAME MEETING JUST BEFORE BEFORE THE LEGISLATURE CONVENES, IS ACTING ON ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS YOU'RE GOING TO DO, WHICH IS SET ALLOWABLE GROWTH FOR LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS. THEY WANT A 6-PERCENT ALLOWABLE GROWTH FIGURE. IS THAT REALISTIC?

Rants: I DON'T THINK IT IS REALISTIC, GIVEN THE BUILT-INS THAT WE ALREADY HAVE, GIVEN THE FACT THAT THAT'S A BUILT-IN INCREASE FOR NEXT YEAR. I AM ONE WHO BELIEVES IT DOES NOT MAKE GOOD SENSE TO SET ALLOWABLE GROWTH 18 MONTHS IN ADVANCE. UNDERSTAND -- THIS IS WHAT YOUR VIEWERS PROBABLY DON'T KNOW IS WHEN WE HAVE THIS DEBATE, WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THIS YEAR. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT NEXT YEAR WHEN WE HAVE NO IDEA -- NO IDEA WHAT THE REVENUE ESTIMATE IS GOING TO LOOK LIKE AND WHAT OTHER FISCAL IMPACTS FOR THIS YEAR'S BUDGET WILL HAVE TO BE INCORPORATED INTO NEXT YEAR'S BUDGET. I DON'T THINK IT MAKES GOOD FISCAL SENSE TO PICK A NUMBER EIGHTEEN MONTHS IN ADVANCE.

Glover: IF 6 PERCENT ISN'T REALISTIC, WHAT IS?

Rants: WE'LL HAVE THAT DEBATE IN THE FIRST THIRTY DAYS.

Yepsen: THE SENATE HAS GOT A PROPOSAL -- SENATE REPUBLICANS SAID TURN THE SCHOOL DAY INTO A CERTAIN NUMBER OF HOURS AS OPPOSED TO CALLING A DAY FIVE AND A HALF HOURS. WHAT'S THE HOUSE GOING TO DO?

Rants: I'M INTERESTED IN TAKING A LOOK AT THAT. I'VE GOT TWO GIRLS IN SCHOOL AND THERE ISN'T A WEEK THAT GOES BY THAT THEY DON'T GET OUT AT SOME POINT DURING THE WEEK EARLY. AND I BELIEVE WE ARE SHORT-CHANGING OUR KIDS OF INSTRUCTIONAL TIME.

Yepsen: ANOTHER ISSUE -- AND YOU MENTIONED IT -- THE CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE. YOU'VE OPPOSED THAT IN THE PAST. YOU SAID IT WON'T HAPPEN. GIVEN THE STATE'S TIGHT MONEY SITUATION, HAVE YOU CHANGED THAT?

Rants: NO. GIVEN WHAT'S GOING ON, THAT'S ABSOLUTELY THE REASON WE SHOULD LOOK AT IT, AND LET ME TELL YOU WHY. YOU HAVE TO SEPARATE OUT THE HEALTH CARE DEBATE FROM THE FISCAL REALITIES. THE FISCAL REALITY IS THAT'S A DECLINING SOURCE OF REVENUE. IT'S DECLINED EVERY YEAR FOR SEVEN YEARS.

Borg: YOU MEAN THE CIGARETTE USE --

Rants: YES, CIGARETTE TAX --

Borg: YES --

Rants: REVENUE. I MEAN FOR A LOT OF REASONS, IT'S DECLINING. IT DOES NOT MAKE GOOD ECONOMIC SENSE TO ME TO BUILD A BUDGET INCREASE BASED ON A DECLINING SOURCE OF REVENUE. ALSO BEAR IN MIND WE ARE GOING TO SEE AN INCREASE IN REVENUE OF 3 PERCENT. SO, YOU KNOW, WE'LL SPEND 99 PERCENT OF THAT. THAT'S A 3-PERCENT INCREASE. ON TOP OF THE 7-PERCENT INCREASE IN SPENDING LAST YEAR, THAT'S A 10-PERCENT INCREASE OVER TWO YEARS. I WOULD SUGGEST TO YOU THAT'S NOT A SUSTAINABLE GROWTH RATE AND WE NEED TO BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT THAT. WE NEED TO LIVE WITHIN THE REVENUE ESTIMATE THAT WE WERE GIVEN IN DECEMBER. ONE OF THE PROBLEMS THAT WE HAD LAST YEAR IS EVERYBODY EXPECTED THE REVENUE WAS COMING IN ABOVE EXPECTATIONS AND THE APRIL R.E.C. WOULD CHANGE THAT NUMBER, AND THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED.

Yepsen: YOU'RE STILL GOING TO SPEND MORE THAN YOU TAKE IN IN REVENUES, RIGHT?

Rants: BUT OUR CHALLENGE THIS YEAR IS TO AGREE IN THE FIRST MONTH OF THE SESSION THAT WE WILL ABIDE BY THAT DECEMBER REVENUE ESTIMATE, WE WILL LIVE WITH THE $268 MILLION WE SPEND AND NOT BE LOOKING FOR OUTSIDE REVENUE SOURCES. IF WE CAN DO THAT, THAT WILL ACCELERATE THAT BUDGET PROCESS SO WE CAN ADJOURN ON TIME.

Glover: IN PLAIN TERMS YOU'RE SAYING NOT ONLY JUST NO CIGARETTE TAX, NO TAX INCREASES --

Rants: NO TAX INCREASES.

Borg: YOU MENTIONED EARLIER AND -- I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE YOU EXPAND ON THE ANSWER ON RENEWABLE FUELS, WITHOUT MAKING UPON, YOU KNOW -- THE CLIMATE COULDN'T BE BETTER WITH IOWANS PAYING MORE TO TRAVEL, MORE TO HEAT THEIR HOMES. WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Rants: I THINK YOU WILL SEE MOST OF OUR ATTENTION FOCUSED ON E85, ETHANOL BLENDED FUEL THAT'S 85 PERCENT ETHANOL. RIGHT NOW, YOU SORT OF HAVE A CHICKEN AND THE EGG PROBLEM. PEOPLE WANT TO HAVE FLEX FUEL VEHICLES IN THE STATE. WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO CONSUME MORE ETHANOL, BUT IT'S A DIFFICULT MARKET TO GET INTO. THE SENATE REPUBLICANS HAVE ISSUED A PLAN. I HAPPEN TO THINK THEY'RE OFF TO A GOOD START WHERE WE NEED TO BE INSENTING LOCAL FILLING STATIONS TO INSTALL E85 TANKS. THEY CAN'T JUST CONVERT A REGULAR ONE -- OR IT'S EXPENSIVE TO CONVERT A REGULAR ONE. BUT WE'VE GOT FLEX FUEL VEHICLES OUT THERE RIGHT NOW. MY WIFE DRIVES A CHRYSLER MINIVAN. IT'S GOT INSIDE A LITTLE STICKER THAT SAYS YOU CAN BURN E85, BUT THERE'S NO PLACE THAT SHE CAN GET THE FUEL, YOU KNOW, WITHOUT DRIVING OUT TO THE LOCAL TRUCK STOP TO GET IT. SO THAT'S THE KIND OF DEBATE I THINK WE'RE GOING TO EMBARK ON. WE ALSO NEED TO GO BACK TO THE ISSUE OF WIND ENERGY. WE'VE TACKLED WIND THE LAST COUPLE YEARS. WE'VE INCREASED THE PRODUCTION IN THE STATE. THERE IS MORE THAT CAN BE DONE. THE TAX CREDITS THAT WE ISSUED LAST YEAR WERE SNAPPED UP WITHIN TWO WEEKS. I THINK THAT'S A SCENARIO THAT'S RIGHT FOR US TO DISCUSS AGAIN. IN BOTH CASES, WE'RE MAKING IOWA MORE SELF-RELIANT, AND I THINK YOU WILL SEE BOTH PARTIES STRIVE FOR DIFFERENT WAYS TO ACCOMPLISH THAT.

Yepsen: EXCUSE ME, MIKE. WHY SHOULD THE TAXPAYER OF THIS STATE PAY MONEY FOR CONVENIENCE STORES -- LAST TIME I CHECKED, THEY'RE MAKING AN AWFUL LOT OF MONEY -- TO DO -- TO PUT IN E85 PUMPS? WHY SHOULD WE PROVIDE A SUBSIDY TO CASEY'S AND KUM & GO?

Rants: DAVID, WE'RE PROVIDING A SUBSIDY AS TAXPAYERS TO BRING IN FOREIGN OIL AND FOR JUST REGULAR GASOLINE PRODUCTION.

Yepsen: SO MUCH FOR THE REPUBLICAN --

Rants: I'M NOT SAYING THAT THAT'S NECESSARILY THE BEST THING TO DO, BUT THE REALITY IS IF WE CAN INCREASE ETHANOL PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION IN THIS STATE, I BELIEVE ALL IOWANS FUNDAMENTALLY WIN. WE HAVE A HEALTHIER ECONOMY AT HOME. WE'RE CREATING MORE JOBS WITHIN THE STATE, AND WE'RE MAKING OURSELVES MORE ENERGY INDEPENDENT, LESS RELIANT UPON THAT FOREIGN OIL THAT SO MUCH OF OUR FOREIGN TROUBLES IN THIS COUNTRY SEEM TO REVOLVE AROUND.

Glover: BUT AREN'T YOU LIMITED IN WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH E85 BECAUSE YOU NEED VEHICLES THAT CAN USE IT?

Rants: YES. AND THAT IS A PROBLEM. WE HAVE VEHICLES THAT ARE OUT THERE. MOST IOWANS DON'T KNOW THAT IF THEY HAVE THEM OR NOT. WE'D LIKE TO SEE MORE PURCHASED IN THIS STATE. BUT RIGHT NOW THERE ARE VEHICLES OUT THERE THAT THEY CAN'T GET THE FUEL TO RUN THOSE VANS OR CARS OR TRUCKS ON.

Glover: AND YOU HAD A BIG VALUES FUND DEBATE DURING THE LAST SESSION. IS THIS RENEWABLE FUEL THING GOING TO BE YOUR MAJOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEBATE THIS YEAR?

Rants: WELL, IT IS ONE OF SEVERAL DEBATES I THINK THAT WE WILL HAVE. I THINK WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO RENEW THE WHOLE QUESTION OF ENTERPRISE ZONES IN THIS STATE, AND I WOULD LIKE TO SEE US, AS I SAID EARLIER, EXPAND THAT SO WE CAN HAVE SOME OTHER TYPES OF ENTITIES AND OTHER PARTS OF THE STATE PARTICIPATE IN THAT. I THINK YOU'LL SEE A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT INITIATIVES WHEN IT COMES TO TRYING TO FURTHER EXPAND IOWA'S ECONOMY.

Yepsen: WHY DON'T YOU TELL THE CONVENIENCE STORES TO PUT THEIR VIDEO LOTTERY PROFITS INTO E85 PUMPS?

Rants: THAT PROBABLY WON'T HAPPEN.

Yepsen: POLITICS. WE ALWAYS LIKE TO TALK POLITICS ON THIS PROGRAM.

Rants: WE MUST BE RUNNING OUT OF TIME.

Yepsen: WE'VE GOT A FEW MINUTES LEFT. WE ALWAYS SAVE TIME FOR THAT. '06 IS LOOKING TO BE A BAD YEAR FOR REPUBLICANS. HISTORY SAYS IT'S A BAD YEAR. YOU'VE LOST SOME KEY -- YOU'RE LOSING SOME KEY LEGISLATORS FROM TOSS-UP DISTRICTS. WHY DO WE ASSUME THAT A YEAR FROM NOW YOU'LL STILL BE THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE?

Rants: WELL, I HOPE YOU'LL BE HAVING ME BACK ON THE SHOW AND I'LL STILL BE THE SPEAKER. WE FEEL VERY CONFIDENT ABOUT WHERE WE'RE AT. THE REALITY IS THAT IN THE OFF-SESSIONS WE'RE TALKING JUST PURE POLITICS. WE HAD A GREAT OFF-SESSION TIME. WE'VE HAD SOME EXCELLENT RESULTS IN CANDIDATE RECRUITMENT, PLACES LIKE, WELL, WATERLOO, ONE OF THOSE CONTESTED AREAS YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT. DAVE WEILAND -- WILLARD JENKINS IS LEAVING. BUT DAVE WEILAND, CITY COUNCIL MEMBER THERE, FORMER JOHN DEERE EXECUTIVE, IS GOING TO BE OUR CANDIDATE. HE'S A PROVEN VOTE GETTER IN THAT COMMUNITY. I THINK WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO HOLD ONTO THAT SEAT. WE'VE GOT GUYS LIKE SCOTT BELT OVER IN COUNCIL BLUFFS. NOW, HE'S A CHALLENGER CANDIDATE, ALSO A MEMBER OF THE CITY COUNCIL IN COUNCIL BLUFFS, PROVEN VOTE GETTER. WE'VE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE IN THE KIND OF CANDIDATES THAT HAVE STEPPED FORWARD AND SAID THEY'RE GOING TO PUT THEIR NAME ON THE BALLOT. AND FRANKLY, I'VE HAD AND A LOT OF MY COLLEAGUES HAVE HAD A PRETTY GOOD YEAR FUND-RAISING.

Yepsen: BUT AREN'T YOU WORRIED ABOUT THIS? I MEAN YOU ALWAYS TELL US THIS, MR. SPEAKER. I EXPECT YOU TO THAT --

Rants: OF COURSE I WORRY.

Yepsen: I'M TALKING ABOUT THE HISTORY OF OFF-YEAR ELECTIONS. TIMES ARE NOT GOOD FOR REPUBLICANS. THE PRESIDENT'S JOB APPROVAL IS BAD. I MEAN I DON'T NEED TO GO THROUGH THE LIST, BUT ARE YOU WORRIED THAT YOUR PARTY COULD LOSE CONTROL OF THE IOWA HOUSE? YOU'VE ONLY GOT A ONE-SEAT MAJORITY.

Rants: I WOULD BE FOOLISH NOT TO BE WORRIED, DAVID. I WILL PROBABLY SLEEP LESS THIS YEAR THAN I DID LAST YEAR, AND I'LL LOSE MORE SLEEP THAN YOU WILL OVER THIS ISSUE. BUT BEING COGNIZANT OF THAT AND NOT BEING OVERCONFIDENT, WE'RE PUTTING IN PLACE A GAME PLAN THAT WE FEEL VERY OPTIMISTIC AND VERY GOOD ABOUT THAT WILL KEEP US IN THE MAJORITY. AND I'M LOOKING TO EXPAND OUR MAJORITY. I'M NOT CONTENT WITH BEING AT 51. THAT'S NOT THE BEST CASE SCENARIO FOR ME. WE'RE LOOKING AT WHERE WE CAN MAKE GAINS.

Glover: AND THERE ARE A COUPLE OF ISSUES THAT ARE RATTLING AROUND OUT THERE. YOU'VE MENTIONED ONE OF THEM, A FIGHT OVER REINSTATING THE DEATH PENALTY. THERE'S ANOTHER ISSUE, A LAWSUIT FILED IN DES MOINES CHALLENGING THE STATE'S LAW ON BANNING GAY MARRIAGES, A REVIVED DEBATE ABOUT WHETHER WE ARE RIGHT IN THE CONSTITUTION, A BAN ON GAY MARRIAGES. BOTH OF THOSE ISSUES HAVE APPROVED IN THE HOUSE. CAN YOU USE THOSE AS WEDGE ISSUES?

Rants: FAR BE IT FOR ME TO THROW THOSE THINGS OUT THERE, BUT SINCE YOU BROUGHT IT UP, I THINK THOSE ISSUES ARE ONES THAT YOU'LL HEAR A LOT ABOUT DURING THE CAMPAIGN. THE REALITY IS THEY'RE BOTH ISSUES THAT IOWANS SUPPORT. THEY'RE ISSUES THAT EVOKE STRONG EMOTIONS IN PEOPLE AND OFTENTIMES GIVES A VOTER AN INCLINATION ABOUT WHERE THAT CANDIDATE STANDS ON OTHER ISSUES --

Glover: MM-HMM.

Rants: -- SIMILAR BUT NOT EXACTLY AND GIVES THEM A FLAVOR OF WHERE THAT CANDIDATE IS GOING TO COME DOWN ON ISSUES THAT THEY MAY NOT BE ABLE TO ANTICIPATE TODAY. I'VE GOT TO BELIEVE THE DEMOCRATS ARE WONDERING JUST EXACTLY WHO THEIR FRIENDS ARE, THE FACT THAT YOU'VE GOT THESE THESE COUPLES THAT ARE BRINGING THAT LAWSUIT. AND IT'S THE DEMOCRATS AND THEIR ALLIES THAT HAVE NOW MADE THAT THE ISSUE -- OR MADE THAT A KEY ISSUE IN THE NEXT CAMPAIGN.

Glover: WELL, GIVEN THAT THE CONTROL OF THE LEGISLATURE, BY TRADITION, FALLS DOWN TO A HANDFUL OF VOTES IN A FEW SWING DISTRICTS, CAN THOSE ISSUES MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Rants: THEY VERY WELL MAY.

Yepsen: WELL NOW, THEY DIDN'T IN THE VIRGINIA -- IN THE RECENT VIRGINIA GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION. I REALIZE IOWA IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT CULTURALLY THAN VIRGINIA. DO YOU EXPECT -- I MEAN REPUBLICANS ALWAYS FLICK THOSE SWITCHES AND THEY'VE WORKED IN THE PAST. THEY WORKED FOR THE PRESIDENT IN THE '04 ELECTION. DO THEY STILL WORK? HAVEN'T VOTERS MOVED ON TO OTHER CONCERNS AND OTHER ISSUES?

Rants: DAVID, I LOOK AT THE IOWA MAP LIKE A LOT OF FOLKS LOOK AT THE NATIONAL ELECTORAL MAP. THERE ARE RED COUNTIES AND BLUE COUNTIES AND RED DISTRICTS AND BLUE DISTRICTS. THE REALITY IS WHAT MAY PLAY IN SIOUX CITY MAY NOT PLAY IN A MUSCATINE, BUT EACH DISTRICT HAS ITS OWN ISSUES THAT MOVE FOLKS. AND YOU'RE RIGHT; IT WILL COME DOWN TO A HANDFUL OF SEATS ACROSS THE STATE. AND, YOU KNOW, WE'LL SEE AT THAT TIME JUST EXACTLY WHAT ISSUES -- IT COULD BE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. IT COULD BE ETHANOL. IT COULD BE GAY MARRIAGE OR THE DEATH PENALTY. IT MAY BE SOMETHING MORE MUNDANE, LIKE THE SCHOOL AID FORMULA AND WHICH ONE OF THOSE CANDIDATES IS GOING TO DOING THEIR BEST.

Glover: IN ONE EFFECT THERE IS A HOT GOVERNORS RACE. THE GOVERNORS RACE IS OPEN. WHAT EFFECT WILL THAT GOVERNORS RACE HAVE ON LEGISLATIVE RACES? CAN YOU -- WILL YOUR CANDIDATE HAVE COATTAILS?

Rants: I CERTAINLY HOPE SO. UNDERSTAND I'M NOT NONPARTISAN IN THIS. I'VE ALREADY ENDORSED JIM NUSSLE, AND I'M SUPPORTIVE OF THE CONGRESSMAN'S BID. FRANKLY, I THINK THAT HELPS MY CHANCES IN THE LEGISLATURE. THE CONGRESSMAN REPRESENTS A PART OF THE STATE WHERE WE SUFFERED DEFEATS LAST TIME. I IMAGINE HIS ORGANIZATION IS GOING TO BE FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS WHEN IT COMES TO TURNING OUT THE VOTE AND OTHER ELECTORIAL EFFORTS UP THERE. THAT SHOULD ONLY HELP REPUBLICANS THAT ARE WITHIN, YOU KNOW, THAT PART OF THE STATE THAT ARE RUNNING FOR REELECTION.

Borg: WE HAVE ABOUT TEN SECONDS. EXPENSIVE CAMPAIGNS IN CERTAIN AREAS?

Rants: YES.

Borg: WHERE?

Borg: WATERLOO AND CEDAR RAPIDS AND PROBABLY COUNCIL BLUFFS, OVER IN MUSCATINE.

Borg: OKAY. YOU SAID EARLIER THIRTY MINUTES AND YOU'RE RIGHT. YOU'RE GOOD AT COUNTING VOTES AND TIME TOO, AND WE'RE OUT OF IT. THANKS FOR BEING OUR GUEST. WE'LL CONTINUE OUR FOCUS ON THE NEW LEGISLATIVE SESSION ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." MOVING ACROSS THE STATEHOUSE ROTUNDA TO THE IOWA SENATE, WE'LL GET AN IDEA OF THE DEMOCRATIC AGENDA FROM THE SENATE'S COLEADER MIKE GRONSTAL OF COUNCIL BLUFFS. THAT'S 7:30 NEXT FRIDAY; SUNDAY AT 11:30 FOR SENATOR MIKE GRONSTAL ON "IOWA PRESS." I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH. AND THIS PROGRAM REMINDER TOO. WITH THE BEGINNING OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION COMES TO THE GOVERNOR'S TRADITIONAL CONDITION OF THE STATE ADDRESS. IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION WILL BE AT THE STATEHOUSE NEXT TUESDAY MORNING TO BRING YOU GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK'S SPEECH TO A JOINT SESSION OF THE IOWA LEGISLATURE. YOU'LL SEE THE LIVE BROADCAST TUESDAY MORNING AT 10:00 WITH A REBROADCAST AT 6:30 THAT NIGHT. WELL, THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEKEND'S EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.

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.

Tags: Iowa