Iowa Public Television

 

House Speaker Pat Murphy

posted on February 9, 2007

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Borg: COLD DAYS, HOT DEBATE. FACING TOUGH DECISIONS, IOWA LEGISLATORS FACE OFF. FAIR SHARE LABOR LEGISLATION IS ONE MAJOR ISSUE OF CONTENTION. INSIGHT FROM HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE SPEAKER PAT MURPHY 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; AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA, THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE.

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: WE'RE ABOUT THIRTY DAYS INTO IOWA'S NEW LEGISLATIVE SESSION NOW, AND EMERGING ISSUES ARE REFLECTING THE CHANGE IN POLITICAL POWER. LEGISLATION CLEARING COMMITTEES FOR FLOOR DEBATE CLEARLY INDICATE DEMOCRATS CONTROLLING BOTH THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE. ISSUE EDGES WILL SHARPEN AS THE SESSION EVOLVES, AND TODAY WE'LL GET PERSPECTIVE FROM A DEMOCRAT IN A POWER POSITION THAT'S NEW TO HIM, SPEAKER OF THE IOWA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PAT MURPHY OF DUBUQUE. WELCOME BACK TO 'IOWA PRESS.'

Murphy: THANK YOU, DEAN.

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

Glover: SPEAKER MURPHY, ONE OF THE FIRST ISSUES YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS YEAR IS THE CIGARETTE TAX. IT'S MORE OR LESS A GIVEN THAT THE CIGARETTE TAX IS GOING TO BE INCREASED THIS YEAR.

Murphy: MM-HMM.

Glover: HOW MUCH WILL YOU INCREASE IT?

Murphy: TO BE HONEST WITH YOU, I DON'T KNOW RIGHT NOW. I THINK GOVERNOR CULVER HAS GIVEN SOME COMPELLING ARGUMENTS TO GO TO A DOLLAR. SO I THINK THE FIRST THING WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT IS TO SEE IF WE CAN DO A DOLLAR. BUT OUR GOAL IS -- I THINK WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE CIGARETTE TAX, I THINK THE FIRST THING YOU HAVE TO DO IS LOOK AT WHAT YOUR GOAL IS. THE FIRST GOAL IS TO DECREASE THE NUMBER OF YOUNG PEOPLE SMOKING AND TO SAVE LIVES. THEN THE SECOND PART IS WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THAT MONEY. THERE WAS A BILL INTRODUCED THIS WEEK BY REPRESENTATIVE DAVE HEATON THAT WOULD PUT IT INTO THE HEAT -- THE HIV FUND. I WAS GOING TO SAY THE HEAT FUND, BUT THE HIV FUND. AND THAT MONEY WOULD BE SPENT FOR TOBACCO CESSATION AND OTHER HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS. I THINK IN THE HOUSE THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT IF WE DO A CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE THAT IT'S GOING TO HAVE TO BE TARGETED TOWARDS HEALTH CARE. AND WE'LL HAVE TO LET THE EXPERTS IN THE CHAMBER DETERMINE HOW THAT'S GOING TO BE ALLOCATED OUT. BUT I THINK IT WILL BE PROBABLY SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 64 CENTS AND A DOLLAR.

Glover: AND THAT'S A CHANGE FOR YOU BECAUSE BEFORE YOU WERE SAYING ABOUT 40, 60 CENTS. YOU THINK IT'S EVOLVED NOW.

Murphy: YEAH, I THINK IT HAS EVOLVED NOW. I THINK IT'S EVOLVED FROM -- I WAS SAYING 36 TO 64 CENTS BEFORE PRIMARILY BECAUSE 36 CENTS WAS WHAT THE SENATE DID TWO YEARS AGO, 64 CENTS BECAUSE IT ROUNDED IT TO A DOLLAR. BUT I THINK BECAUSE OF THE PRESSURE THAT GOVERNOR CULVER HAS PUT ON AND THE GENERAL ATTITUDE IN THE LEGISLATURE ABOUT HOW THE MONEY IS SPENT AND WHAT THE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES ARE AND SINCE THEY'RE THE RIGHT OBJECTIVES, I THINK YOU'LL SEE A DEBATE SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 64 CENTS AND A DOLLAR.

Glover: AND IF YOU DON'T DO THE FULL DOLLAR, WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO GIVE UP?

Murphy: WELL, I THINK THAT'S -- AND THAT'S THE PART WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO EDUCATE LEGISLATORS ON. AND I THINK THAT'S THE PART THAT WILL DETERMINE THE DIRECTION AS TO HOW HIGH WE GO. I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS LEGISLATORS HAVE TO UNDERSTAND IS THAT SEVERAL OF THE THINGS THAT GOVERNOR CULVER SETS OUT IN HIS BUDGET TO DEAL WITH THE ISSUE OF HEALTH CARE IS BASED ON THE FACT THAT WE HAVE A ONE-DOLLAR-PER-PACK INCREASE. IF WE DON'T DO A DOLLAR, THERE'S GOING TO BE SOME OF THOSE THINGS THAT MAY FALL OFF THE TABLE.

Yepsen: JUST A HOUSEKEEPING QUESTION ON THE CIGARETTE TAX, MR. SPEAKER. DO YOU DECIDE EARLY WHAT YOU WANT TO DO IN THE SESSION, OR DO YOU WAIT UNTIL THE END OF THE SESSION WHEN YOU'VE GOT YOUR BUDGET FARTHER DOWN THE ROAD? IS THIS AN EARLY DECISION BY THE LEGISLATURE OR A LATE ONE?

Murphy: I THINK IT NEEDS TO BE AN EARLY DECISION BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO DRIVE THE REST OF THE BUDGET. PLUS, I THINK THE OTHER PART THAT YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT TOO IS IT'S NOT JUST DRIVING THE BUDGET, BUT IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT GOVERNOR CULVER PROPOSED, THE CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE WOULD OCCUR ON APRIL 1, SO IT'S NOT TIED TO THE FISCAL YEAR. HE'S ACTUALLY COUNTING ON REVENUE COMING IN BEFORE JULY 1. IF THAT'S THE CASE, THEN I THINK WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS SOONER RATHER THAN LATER, SO I THINK IT'S SOMETHING WE HAVE TO DEAL IN THE NEXT --

Glover: SO WHAT'S YOUR TIME FRAME?

Murphy: -- THREE TO FOUR WEEKS, I'D SAY.

Glover: OKAY.

Yepsen: ARE OTHER ANTISMOKING MEASURES GOING TO COME BEFORE THE LEGISLATURE? I'M THINKING OF LOCAL -- GIVING CITIES THE ABILITY TO WRITE TOUGHER STANDARDS. ARE YOU GUYS GOING TO DO ANY OF THAT?

Murphy: WELL, I THINK THAT'S -- AGAIN, THAT'S A VERY GOOD QUESTION. I THINK RIGHT NOW WE HAVE TWO BILLS OUT THERE. I KNOW JANET PETERSEN, A STATE REPRESENTATIVE HERE FROM DES MOINES, WOULD LIKE TO DO A STATEWIDE BAN. THERE'S OTHER BILLS OUT THERE THAT TALK ABOUT TURNING IT OVER TO LOCAL CONTROL WHERE CITIES AND COUNTIES WOULD MAKE THOSE DECISIONS. AND I'M NOT SURE WHAT THE LEGISLATURE WILL DO. THAT REALLY IS -- I THINK THAT WILL VARY FROM LEGISLATOR TO LEGISLATOR EVEN LESS SO THAN THE CIGARETTE TAX.

Yepsen: SWITCH TOPICS TO FAIR SHARE. AS DEAN MENTIONED, THIS FAIR SHARE ISSUE IS A HOT ONE IN THE LEGISLATURE. IT'S THE WHOLE QUESTION OF WHETHER A NONUNION MEMBER, EMPLOYEE IN A UNION SHOP, HAS TO PAY A FEE TO THE UNION FOR SERVICES THAT UNION PROVIDES THEM. A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY IT VIOLATES THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW. I'M TOLD THAT LAST WEEK ON FRIDAY YOU HAD A BILL INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE, THE HOUSE VERSION OF A FAIR SHARE BILL. WHAT'S -- WHERE DOES THAT ISSUE STAND IN THE IOWA HOUSE RIGHT NOW?

Murphy: WELL, REPRESENTATIVE TODD TAYLOR INTRODUCED A BILL THIS WEEK. I THINK IT'S HOUSE FILE 324, WHICH WOULD -- IT'S VERY SIMILAR TO THE BILL THAT WAS INTRODUCED BY SENATOR DICK DEARDEN OVER IN THE SENATE. BUT I THINK THIS IS A WORKING DOCUMENT; IT COULD DEFINITELY CHANGE. FIRST OF ALL, DEMOCRATS AREN'T GOING TO REPEAL THE RIGHT TO WORK. WE'RE GOING TO PUT FAIR SHARE LANGUAGE IN THERE. WE'RE NOT GOING TO FORCE PEOPLE TO JOIN A UNION AND, QUITE FRANKLY, THIS DOESN'T AFFECT 85 TO 90 PERCENT OF ALL IOWANS. THIS ONLY AFFECTS PEOPLE THAT NEGOTIATE A CONTRACT AND THE EMPLOYER AGREES AS PART OF THAT CONTRACT THAT PEOPLE THAT ARE NOT A MEMBER OF A UNION WOULD PAY A FEE FOR THE SERVICES THEY RECEIVE.

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER --

Murphy: GO AHEAD.

Yepsen: NO, MY QUESTION IS, THOUGH, IN ORDER TO DO THOSE THINGS, YOU DO HAVE TO GO INTO THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW. YOU CAN'T JUST PASS THAT AS A SEPARATE PIECE OF LEGISLATION. YOU HAVE TO NOT WITHSTAND PART OF THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW IN IOWA. YOU HAVE TO MAKE EXCEPTIONS TO PART OF THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW IN IOWA. WHY ISN'T THAT GUTTING RIGHT TO WORK?

Murphy: IT'S NOT GUTTING RIGHT TO WORK BECAUSE, FIRST OF ALL, YOU STILL KEEP THE RIGHT TO WORK LEGISLATION IN THERE. AND THEN THE SECOND PART IS THEN YOU'RE ASKING FOR A FEE. NOW, PEOPLE ARE SAYING THAT WE'RE NOTWITHSTANDING IT. WE'RE MAKING CHANGES WITHIN THAT CHAPTER, BUT WE'RE NOT REPEALING RIGHT TO WORK. IN FACT, IF WE DO THIS, WE WOULD PROBABLY -- WE WOULD PROBABLY BE A FAIRLY UNIQUE STATE IN THAT WE WOULD HAVE A RIGHT TO WORK STATE BUT WE'D ALSO STILL HAVE THE ABILITY FOR -- IF IT'S NEGOTIATED, FOR THE ABILITY TO CHARGE A FEE. SO WE WOULDN'T BE AFFECTING THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW. IT WOULD STILL BE A STATUTE IN THE STATE OF IOWA. NOW, THE PROBLEM YOU RUN INTO IS REPUBLICANS ARE RUNNING AROUND SAYING THAT THIS -- THAT THIS AUTOMATICALLY GUTS THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW. I ARGUE THAT IT DOESN'T.

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER, WHERE DID THIS COME FROM? I MEAN DURING THE CAMPAIGN YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE AND JOBS AND EDUCATION. WE DIDN'T HEAR A WHOLE LOT ABOUT THIS FAIR SHARE THING.

Murphy: AND, DAVID, YOU'RE RIGHT. WE TALKED ABOUT A PLAN FOR PROSPERITY, AND DEMOCRATS ARE FOCUSING ON A PLAN FOR PROSPERITY. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE FUND THE PROGRAMS THAT WE TALKED ABOUT FROM EARLY CHILDHOOD, MAKING SURE WE GET TEACHER PAY TO 25TH IN THE NATION, FOCUSING ON HIGHER EDUCATION BECAUSE THERE'S BEEN A 90-PERCENT INCREASE. WE'RE ALSO TALKING ABOUT WHAT WE CAN DO FOR BUSINESS IN THE AREA OF COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TAXES, HEALTH CARE, AND WITH THE MINIMUM WAGE. WE'RE ALSO TRYING TO ADDRESS IOWA AS A GREEN STATE. THOSE ARE STILL OUR FOCUS THIS SESSION. NOW, WE MAY OR MAY NOT DO SOMETHING ON FAIR SHARE, BUT OUR FOCUS AT THE END OF THE DAY -- AT THE END OF THIS YEAR, THE THINGS THAT WE TALKED ABOUT IN THE CAMPAIGN, OUR GOAL IS TO ACCOMPLISH ALL OF THOSE AT THE END OF THIS YEAR.

Glover: AND THE QUESTION BEING AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH FAIR SHARE? ARE YOU GOING TO PASS IT?

Murphy: I DON'T KNOW. THAT REMAINS YET TO BE SEEN. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO HAVE DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THAT. IT TENDS TO BE MORE OF A PARTISAN ISSUE THAN JUST ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE IN THE LEGISLATURE, BUT WE'LL HAVE TO ADDRESS THAT AT A LATER TIME.

Yepsen: COULDN'T THIS ISSUE COST YOU THE MAJORITY? I MEAN DON'T YOU HAVE RURAL DEMOCRATS WHO ARE FRESHMEN DEMOCRATS WHO WILL HAVE A TOUGH TIME GETTING REELECTED IF THEY VOTE FOR THIS?

Murphy: DAVID, EVERYBODY ARGUES ABOUT EVERY VOTE THAT WE CAST IN THIS LEGISLATURE COULD COST US THE MAJORITY. I THINK THE BOTTOM LINE IS OUR LEGISLATORS AND OUR CAUCUS HAVE TALKED ABOUT AND CAMPAIGNED ON THE FACT THAT THEY WOULD NOT -- AND HAVE STATED PUBLICLY THAT THEY WOULDN'T REPEAL THE RIGHT TO WORK, AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO DO THAT.

Borg: WHAT WOULD HAPPEN UNDER THAT IS THAT THE ISSUE OF FAIR SHARE WOULD BECOME AN ISSUE OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING THEN IF THE EMPLOYER HAS TO AGREE.

Murphy: THAT'S CORRECT. IT WOULD BE SOMETHING THAT WOULD HAVE TO BE NEGOTIATED AT THE TABLE. AND IF THE EMPLOYER AGREED, THEN THE ABILITY TO CHARGE A FEE FOR SERVICES THAT ARE RELATED TO THE NEGOTIATING OF THEIR CONTRACT AND REPRESENTING THEM IS PART OF THAT.

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER, WHAT GOOD IS IT TO HAVE A RIGHT TO WORK LAW IN IOWA IF THE LEGISLATURE IS GOING TO DRILL HOLES IN IT? I MEAN IT BECOMES A PIECE OF STATUTORY SWISS CHEESE: ACCEPT THIS; NOTWITHSTANDING THAT. WHAT VALUE IS THE RIGHT TO WORK LAW IF YOU DO THAT TO IT?

Murphy: WE WOULD STILL HAVE A RIGHT TO -- LISTEN, DAVID, YOU KNOW, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT STATES THAT WE HAVEN'T CHANGED THAT LANGUAGE AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO CHANGE IT. ARE WE GOING TO MAKE SOME MODIFICATIONS TO IT? I WOULDN'T CALL THEM MODIFICATIONS. I'D TALK ABOUT THE ABILITY TO CHARGE A FEE IN A RIGHT TO WORK STATE.

Borg: ARE YOU GOING TO RAISE THE GAS TAX? I THINK DEMOCRATIC LEADERS FIRST OF ALL SAID, NO, WE'RE NOT GOING TO TOUCH THAT. ALL OF A SUDDEN IT SEEMS TO BE AN ISSUE THAT DOESN'T DIE.

Murphy: LET'S PUT IT THIS WAY, I THINK WE NEED TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE COST OF GASOLINE IN IOWA. AND I THINK IT'S SOMETHING THAT WE'RE GOING TO -- WE'RE GOING TO STUDY VERY CAREFULLY. QUITE FRANKLY, IF YOU RAISE THE GAS TAX AND IT'S ONLY 90 CENTS A GALLON, IT ISN'T AS MUCH OF A CONCERN. BUT IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED HERE OVER THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF WHERE WE SAW $3- TO $3.25-CENT-A-GALLON GAS, IT BECOMES A HUGE ISSUE OF EVERY CENT YOU ADD. I THINK THAT WE'VE GOT TO BE FOCUSED ON WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO GROW THE STATE, AND THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT COMMUNITIES ARE TALKING ABOUT THIS. BUT I THINK WE HAVE TO GO VERY SLOWLY AT THIS. BUT IF WE DO THIS, IT'S GOING TO HAVE TO BE -- THIS WILL HAVE TO BE A VERY BIPARTISAN EFFORT BOTH IN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE TO GET IT PASSED.

Borg: AND PART OF THAT, IS IT ALSO PART OF PASSING IT TO CHANGE THE WAY THE FUNDS ARE DISTRIBUTED, THE FORMULA?

Murphy: WELL, THAT IS AND THAT WILL CAUSE -- I THINK THAT'S ONE OF THE OTHER PARTS THAT WILL CAUSE A VERY SERIOUS DEBATE. IF YOU WANT TO SEE DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS STOP BEING DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS AND RURAL VERSUS URBAN, THIS IS ONE OF THOSE DEBATES THAT COULD CAUSE IT IF YOU CHANGE THAT ALLOCATION, BECAUSE CITIES AND COUNTIES AND ESPECIALLY THE RURAL AREAS MIGHT NOT LIKE THE CHANGE IN THE ALLOCATIONS. SO WHAT I THINK IS GOING TO HAPPEN, IT'S GOING TO BE A LONG -- A LONG DISCUSSION, A LONG DEBATE, BUT I WOULDN'T NECESSARILY GUARANTEE WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO. PLUS, WE HAVE A NUMBER OF OPTIONS. THEY DIDN'T COME OUT AND JUST TALK ABOUT A GAS TAX. THEY TALKED ABOUT A SEVERANCE TALK. THEY TALKED ABOUT PICKUP TRUCK FEES, TOLL WAYS. SO WE HAVE TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THE LEGISLATURE, IF WE CAN DO ANYTHING, WHAT THEY CAN DO. AND WE HAVE REPRESENTATIVE GERI HUSER WORKING ON THAT. SHE'S CHAIR OF THE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE. I THINK SHE'LL BE ABLE TO FIGURE OUT, IF WE'RE ABLE TO DO SOMETHING, WHAT THAT WILL BE.

Glover: BOTH THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE HAVE PASSED DIFFERING VERSIONS OF A BILL DESIGNED TO PROTECT STUDENTS FROM BULLYING, HARASSMENT. THE FOCUS OF THAT IS ON GAY AND LESBIAN STUDENTS. THE CRITICS OF THIS LEGISLATION SAY THE LEGISLATURE IS ADOPTING A GAY AGENDA. ARE YOU GOING TO APPROVE THAT BILL AT THE END OF THE DAY, AND ARE YOU GOING TO GO FURTHER AND ADOPT MEASURES THAT DEAL WITH CIVIL RIGHTS AND RESIDENTS, CIVIL RIGHTS AND WORK?

Murphy: WELL, I THINK FIRST OF ALL -- FIRST OF ALL, MIKE, THIS DEALS WITH SAFE SCHOOLS. I DON'T CARE WHO YOU ARE; YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO GO TO SCHOOL TO LEARN, AND YOU SHOULDN'T BE HARASSED BASED ON WHAT IS REAL OR PERCEIVED. IT'S NOT JUST -- IT'S MORE THAN WHAT YOU TALKED ABOUT. IT REALLY IS GIVING TEACHERS THE TOOLS THEY NEED AND STUDENTS A SAFE ENVIRONMENT. AND QUITE FRANKLY, ONLY 77 SCHOOL DISTRICTS OUT OF 365 HAVE THIS IN THE CODE -- OR IN THEIR POLICIES CURRENTLY. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR THE LEGISLATURE TO MAKE THAT ADOPTION. NOW, IF WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT OTHER ISSUES, I KNOW IN 1992 DEMOCRATS TOOK UP CIVIL RIGHTS LEGISLATION THEN. AND AS YOU REMEMBER, IT FAILED IN THE HOUSE. IT ONLY HAD ABOUT 47 VOTES. MY GOAL IS TO TAKE UP BILLS THAT ARE GOING TO PASS. I DON'T WANT TO BE TAKING UP THE LEGISLATURE'S TIME OR, QUITE FRANKLY, ANYBODY ELSE'S TIME UNLESS WE HAVE THE VOTES TO PASS BILLS. THE ONLY WAY THAT WE WOULD EVEN CONSIDER THAT BILL IS IF WE HAVE 51 VOTES TO PASS.

Glover: AND DO YOU?

Murphy: TO BE HONEST WITH YOU, I DON'T KNOW. WE DID HAVE THE VOTES THE OTHER NIGHT TO PASS THE SAFE SCHOOLS BILL. IT WAS VERY BIPARTISAN. IN FACT, IT WAS A VERY BIPARTISAN EFFORT. THERE WERE REPUBLICAN AMENDMENTS OFFERED AND TAKEN. THERE WERE ONES THAT WERE REJECTED, BUT I THOUGHT THE DEBATE WENT FAIRLY WELL. SO IF WE'RE ABLE TO DO IT IN A BIPARTISAN EFFORT, I THINK WE COULD GET IT DONE.

Glover: IS IT ON YOUR AGENDA? IS IT SOMETHING YOU'RE GOING TO WORK TOWARDS? IS IT SOMETHING YOU'RE JUST GOING TO SEE IF IT HAPPENS?

Murphy: I THINK IT'S SOMETHING THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO WORK TOWARDS. I THINK, FIRST OF ALL, I DON'T THINK ANYBODY SHOULD BE DENIED HOUSING OR THE WORK ON THE SAME ISSUES THAT INVOLVE SCHOOLS. AND SO I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING THAT I THINK EVERY IOWAN WANTS TO ACHIEVE THAT GOAL.

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER, ANOTHER ISSUE FACING THE LEGISLATURE IS THIS QUESTION OF THE POWER FUND. GOVERNOR CULVER HAS PROPOSED A $100-MILLION POWER FUND. WHY DO WE NEED THAT? THERE ARE ETHANOL PLANTS GOING UP ALL OVER THIS STATE. WHY DO WE NEED TO PUT $100 MILLION OF TAXPAYER MONEY INTO AN INDUSTRY THAT REALLY LOOKS LIKE IT'S DOING PRETTY WELL.

Murphy: DAVID, IT'S DOING WELL NOW, BUT I WAS AT A CONFERENCE LAST MONTH AND IT WAS INTERESTING WHEN EVERYBODY SAID, YOU KNOW, IOWA, YOU'RE AHEAD OF THE GAME RIGHT NOW AND ETHANOL IS THE NAME OF THE GAME NOW, BUT IT'S THE NAME OF THE GAME FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. WE'RE LOOKING BEYOND THE NEXT FIVE YEARS, AND THE POWER FUND IS GOING TO DO THAT. WE NEED TO LOOK AT BIO REFINERIES. THE WHOLE ISSUE THAT'S GOING ON UP IN NORTHWEST IOWA RIGHT NOW WHERE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE WHOLE ISSUE OF WHAT'S -- WHAT'S THE NEXT CORN-BASED RENEWABLE FUEL, THAT'S WHAT WE NEED TO BE LOOKING AT. WHAT ARE OUR NEW OPPORTUNITIES? WE'RE VERY WELL FOUNDED IN WHERE WE'RE AT IN RENEWABLE FUELS. WE'RE VERY WELL FOUNDED IN WHERE WE'RE AT WITH SOY DIESEL. BUT THAT NEXT STEP NEEDS TO BE WHAT'S THE NEXT AREA, AND THE CELLULOSIC SEEMS TO BE THE NEXT STEP IN THAT DIRECTION, SO I THINK THAT'S PROBABLY THE DIRECTION WE REALLY NEED TO GO IN. SO I THINK THE $25 MILLION NEEDS TO BE THERE, AND I THINK YOU'LL SEE THE LEGISLATURE VERY ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN TRYING TO DETERMINE HOW THAT POWER FUND MONEY IS USED.

Yepsen: IS THERE ANY CONCERN BY THE LEGISLATURE ABOUT BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR, YOU MAY GET IT? I MEAN YOU TALK TO LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS TODAY, THEY ARE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE HIGH COST OF CORN, WHICH HURTS PARTICULARLY THE HOG INDUSTRY. NOW, ARE WE KILLING OFF THE PORK INDUSTRY IN THIS STATE TO BUILD AN ETHANOL INDUSTRY?

Murphy: AND THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION. THAT'S SOMETHING THAT I THINK YOU'VE SEEN. YOU'LL SEE A CHANGE IN THE LEGISLATURE THIS YEAR WHERE WE'VE GOT TO LOOK AT NOT JUST HOW IT AFFECTS THE LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY, BUT ALSO HOW IT AFFECTS THE ENVIRONMENT. FOR THE FIRST TIME YOU'RE STARTING TO HEAR THIS DISCUSSION ABOUT, WELL, YOU'RE TAKING ALL THIS CORN STOVER OFF THE FIELD. THEY'RE WORRIED ABOUT SOIL EROSION. WE'RE CONCERNED ABOUT THE PRICES -- THE PRICE OF CORN IS GOING TO BE AND HOW IT AFFECTS THE PRICE OF LIVESTOCK WHEN IT GOES TO MARKET. SO THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT IT THAT I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE A NEW WAY OF ADDRESSING SOME OF THESE ISSUES, BECAUSE WE'RE STARTING TO HEAR LEGISLATORS TALKING ABOUT THOSE ISSUES AS WELL. I'M NOT SAYING I KNOW WHAT THE ANSWER IS, BUT THIS IS A GREAT POSITION TO BE IN WHERE WE HAVE CREATED A VALUE-ADDED AGRICULTURE SCENARIO NOW WHERE FARMERS THAT ARE IN THE -- THAT ARE PRODUCING CROPS ARE IN A GREAT SITUATION. AND THE LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY IS COMING BACK TO IOWA, BASED ON SOME OF WHAT WE'RE DOING WITH CORN. SO I THINK IT'S A GOOD POSITION TO BE IN, BUT WE'VE GOT TO BE GOOD STEWARDS OF THE LAND AND WE'VE ALSO GOT TO DO WHAT WE CAN TO KEEP THE LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY ALIVE IN THIS STATE AS WELL.

Glover: MR. SPEAKER, LET'S SWITCH TOPICS. WE'VE GOT WAY TOO MANY QUESTIONS AND WAY TOO LITTLE TIME. THIS LEGISLATURE IS ON TRACK TO DO ABOUT $107-, $108-MILLION INCREASE IN BASIC STATE FUNDING FOR EDUCATION, AND THAT SEEMS TO BE AGREED ON. YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT DOING A $70-MILLION INCREASE IN TEACHER PAY, $20-MILLION INCREASE IN PRESCHOOL. HOW MUCH MONEY IS AVAILABLE FOR K-12 EDUCATION?

Murphy: WELL, I THINK -- THE FIRST PART YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT, MIKE, IS I THINK WE ARE REFOCUSING ON EDUCATION FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS. WE HAVE DROPPED TO 42ND IN TEACHER PAY. WITH THE BILL WE PASSED LAST YEAR, WE GET IT UP TO 32ND. THE GOAL I THINK OF AT LEAST THE DEMOCRATS IN THE LEGISLATURE IS TO GET IT TO 25TH. SO WE'RE GOING TO WORK TOWARDS THAT END. WE WILL PROBABLY HAVE A BILL THIS YEAR OR NEXT YEAR THAT WILL SHOW THAT WE'RE COMING UP WITH THE EXTRA $70 MILLION TO TAKE CARE OF THAT. EARLY CHILDHOOD IS AN ISSUE THAT WE'RE IN COMPETITION WITH EVERY OTHER STATE NOW, WHERE EARLY CHILDHOOD IS BECOMING A VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE SO KIDS ARE READY TO LEARN WHEN THEY COME INTO SCHOOL. SO I THINK WE ARE GOING TO -- WE'RE GOING TO -- WE'RE GOING TO FOCUS HEAVILY ON EDUCATION THIS YEAR. THE EXACT DOLLAR AMOUNT, I'D HAVE TO ADD THEM UP, BUT I THINK WE'RE LOOKING AT PROBABLY $170- TO $200 MILLION FOR WHAT WE'RE GOING TO SPEND ON IT.

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER, WHEN MOST WORKERS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR GET A PAY RAISE, THERE'S AN EXPECTATION FROM THE EMPLOYER THAT YOU'RE GOING TO DO BETTER, YOU'RE GOING TO DO MORE. WHAT ARE THE ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES OR THE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS THAT ARE GOING TO GO ALONG TO TEACHERS IN ALL THIS NEW MONEY -- THIS PAY RAISE THE LEGISLATURE IS GIVING THEM?

Murphy: WELL, QUITE FRANKLY, DAVID, I THINK IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT IT, THEY'VE BEEN -- LET'S PUT IT THIS WAY, YOU JUST SAID AN EMPLOYER. LET'S COMPARE THEM TO A BASEBALL STAR. IF YOU WERE THE TOP TEN IN HITTING AND YOU WERE THE TOP -- AND YOU'RE IN THE TOP TEN IN HOME RUNS AND YOU HAVE THE LOWEST INJURY RATE, IOWA TEACHERS HAVE DONE VERY WELL. YOU CAN LOOK AT HOW STUDENTS PERFORM IN FOURTH GRADE, EIGHTH GRADE, ELEVENTH GRADE. YOU TAKE A LOOK AT HOW WE PERFORMED COMPARED TO OTHER STATES. WE RANK IN THE TOP TEN IN EVERY CATEGORY EXCEPT THE HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT RATE, WHICH WE'RE ONE OF THE LOWEST. TEACHERS HAVE BEEN DOING A GOOD JOB IN THE STATE. AND SO I THINK INSTEAD OF ALWAYS SAYING, WELL, THEY'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING TO IMPROVE -- THEY'VE BEEN HITTING THE BALL OUT OF THE BALLPARK FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, AND THEY HAVEN'T BEEN, QUITE FRANKLY, REWARDED. SO I THINK THE ISSUE REALLY NEEDS TO BE DEALING WITH THE ISSUE OF HOW WE -- AND HERE'S THE OTHER PROBLEM WE HAVE. WE HAVE A NUMBER OF TEACHERS WHO WILL BE RETIRING OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE KEEP OUR BEST AND BRIGHTEST GRADUATES IN THE STATE. WE'VE GOT TO COMPETE WITH THE OTHER STATES, AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT SOME OF THE SURROUNDING STATES AND WHAT THEY'RE PAYING, WE'VE GOT TO PUT -- WE'VE GOT TO BE ABLE TO PUT MORE MONEY ON THE TABLE.

Glover: ONE OF THE TOUGHER PROBLEMS YOU FACE IS EVERYONE AGREES THAT COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TAXES IN IOWA ARE OUT OF LINE WITH RATES IN NEIGHBORING STATES OR EVEN RATES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT THAT? ARE YOU GOING TO BE ABLE TO MAKE A SIGNIFICANT DENT IN THAT THIS YEAR? A TASK FORCE THAT THE GOVERNOR NAMED CAME UP WITH A $25-MILLION BAND-AID. AND MOST PEOPLE SAY THAT'S JUST A BAND-AID; IT DOESN'T DO MUCH WITH THE PROBLEM. ARE YOU GOING TO BE ABLE TO ADDRESS THAT IN A SERIOUS MANNER?

Murphy: I THINK WE WILL. FIRST OF ALL, ON THE HOUSE SIDE WE CREATED A STANDING SUBCOMMITTEE WITHIN THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE. AND WE PUT REPRESENTATIVE PHIL WISE WHICH, YOU KNOW, BOTH OF YOU KNOW PHIL VERY WELL. PHIL IS A VERY HARD WORKER, BUT HE ALSO MAKES SURE THAT HE WORKS TOWARDS AN ENDS AND A MEANS TO GET SOMETHING DONE. AND PHIL IS NOT AFRAID TO MAKE A FEW ENEMIES ALONG THE WAY TO GET SOMETHING DONE, SO THAT'S WHY WE PUT HIM AS CHAIR OF THAT STANDING SUBCOMMITTEE BECAUSE I DO THINK THAT WE NEED SOMEBODY WITH EXPERIENCE THAT UNDERSTANDS WHAT HE'S -- THE CHALLENGE THAT HE FACES. AND THE BIG GOAL IS TO GET SOMETHING OUT OF WAYS AND MEANS THIS YEAR. OUR GOAL IS NOT TO DO ANOTHER STUDY. AND PHIL IS STARTING TO SET UP MEETINGS HERE THIS COMING WEEK TO START TALKING TO THE DIFFERENT PEOPLE AT THE TABLE, TALKING ABOUT HOW WE CAN MOVE IN A DIRECTION TO GET SOMETHING DONE. I'M NOT SURE WHAT WE WILL HAVE AT THE END OF THE DAY, BUT I SENSE BOTH FROM -- AND I REALLY SEE THIS AS A BIPARTISAN EFFORT. YOU CAN SENSE IT FROM REPUBLICANS. YOU CAN SENSE IT FROM DEMOCRATS. BUT THIS IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE BIGGEST ISSUES THAT WILL AFFECT ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THIS STATE IN THE YEARS TO COME. WE HAVE TO MOVE IN A DIRECTION TO GET SOMETHING DONE. NOW, I DON'T KNOW IF WE CAN CHANGE IT OVERNIGHT, BECAUSE THIS PROBLEM HAS TAKEN TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS. BUT IT WOULD BE NICE TO BE ABLE TO SEE TWO OR THREE YEARS DOWN THE ROAD THAT THEY SAID THIS BILL PASSED OUT OF THIS COMMITTEE AND OUT OF THIS STANDING SUBCOMMITTEE, GOT US ON THE ROAD BACK TO RECOVERY.

Glover: BUT YOU'LL DO SOMETHING THIS YEAR?

Murphy: I THINK WE WILL, YES.

Yepsen: AND HOW MUCH -- IS INCOME TAX A PIECE OF THIS?

Murphy: WELL, NOT AT THIS POINT BUT WE'RE GOING TO GIVE -- WE'RE GOING TO GIVE REPRESENTATIVE WISE A LOT OF ROOM TO WORK. AND IF HE CAN SELL A MAJORITY OF MEMBERS, DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS -- AND IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE 51 DEMOCRATS. IF WE CAN GET 51, 52, 53 VOTES FOR A BILL THAT, REGARDLESS OF WHAT IT INVOLVES, WE'LL WORK TOWARDS THAT -- TOWARDS THAT GOAL.

Yepsen: SPECIFICALLY DO YOU SEE ANYTHING HAPPENING ON FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY? I MEAN DEMOCRATS FOR YEARS HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT LET'S REPEAL FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY, LOWER THE INCOME TAX RATE SO WE'VE GOT A MORE COMPETITIVE TAX CODE.

Murphy: WELL, YOU'VE BEEN SEEING THE SAME ADS I HAVE. THERE ISN'T ANY PLAN TO DEAL WITH FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY THIS YEAR. I THINK IF WE'RE TALKING TAXES, COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TAXES ARE THE FIRST AND FOREMOST. SECONDLY, CIGARETTES. TO DO ANYTHING WITH FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY AT THIS POINT I'D SAY IS VERY, VERY REMOTE.

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER, ARE THE DEMOCRATS GIVING WITH ONE HAND AND TAKING AWAY WITH ANOTHER? I MEAN MIKE MENTIONED THE COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TAX DEAL, THE LITTLE QUICK-FIX MONEY YOU'RE GOING TO GIVE TO BUSINESSES. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, IF THE GOVERNOR IS PROPOSING GOING TO COMBINED REPORTING FOR CALCULATING CORPORATE INCOME TAXES, YOU RAISE ALLOWABLE GROWTH, THAT ALSO ENABLES LOCAL SCHOOLS TO RAISE MORE PROPERTY TAX DOLLARS. SO ON THE ONE HAND YOU'RE GIVING BUSINESSES A TAX BREAK, AREN'T YOU TAKING MONEY AWAY FROM THEM IN THE FORM OF THEIR CORPORATE INCOME TAX AND THEIR HIGHER LOCAL SCHOOL PROPERTY TAXES?

Murphy: WELL, I DON'T KNOW IF WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO COMBINED REPORTING. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT GOVERNOR VILSACK PROPOSED ON SEVERAL -- ON SEVERAL DIFFERENT -- IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT PORTIONS OF HIS BUDGET OVER THE LAST EIGHT YEARS. I DON'T KNOW IF WE'LL BE ABLE, QUITE FRANKLY, TO PASS THAT. AND I KNOW THAT THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT HAVE RESERVATIONS ABOUT IT IN OUR CAUCUS, SO I DON'T KNOW IF THAT ONE HAPPENS. BUT ON THE ISSUE OF PROPERTY TAX, PROPERTY TAXES HAVE BEEN -- WE KNOW THAT THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN OUT THERE THAT EVERY TIME YOU RAISE ALLOWABLE GROWTH THERE IS THAT PROPERTY TAX PIECE TO IT AS WELL. WE UNDERSTAND THAT. THAT'S WHY DEMOCRATS, INSTEAD OF DOING 6 PERCENT, WE'RE LOOKING AT DOING TWO PIECES. WE'RE GOING TO DO 4-PERCENT ALLOWABLE GROWTH, BUT THEN WE'RE GOING TO DEAL WITH THE TEACHER PAY ISSUE SEPARATELY, WHICH WILL ACTUALLY PUT ABOUT 6.5 PERCENT INTO THE POCKETS OF LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS. WE HAVE SOME SCHOOL DISTRICTS THAT LOSE UNDER 4 PERCENT BECAUSE OF DECLINING ENROLLMENT, BUT EVERYBODY IS A WINNER UNDER THE -- UNDER THE TEACHER QUALITY ARGUMENT.

Glover: ANOTHER ISSUE THAT'S KIND OF BUBBLING OUT THERE UNDER THE SURFACE AND NOT BEING TALKED ABOUT A LOT, THE LARGEST UNIONS REPRESENTING STATE WORKERS ARE IN NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE STATE. AT THE END OF THE DAY, YOU'LL HAVE TO PAY FOR THAT PACKAGE. HOW MUCH MONEY IS AVAILABLE TO PAY STATE WORKERS?

Murphy: WELL, I'M NOT SURE WHAT WAS IN THE GOVERNOR'S BUDGET. I KNOW THAT HE WAS FUNDING THE -- I KNOW HE STATED THAT HE WAS FUNDING THE SALARY BILL WITHOUT REALLY KNOWING WHAT THE AGREEMENTS WERE AT THAT POINT. BUT I DO THINK THAT THAT'S PROBABLY ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS WE'VE HAD IN STATE GOVERNMENT OVER THE LAST FIVE OR SIX YEARS THAT'S CAUSED A STRAIN ON EDUCATION. WHEN YOU LOOK AT HIGHER EDUCATION, I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT WITH THE REGENT UNIVERSITIES, THE SINGLE BIGGEST PIECE THAT YOU CAN -- THAT THE LEGISLATURE CAN DO TO AVOID HUGE TUITION INCREASES IS PAYING THE SALARY BILL AND FULLY FUNDING IT. AND I KNOW THAT DEMOCRATS IN THE LEGISLATURE WANT TO FULLY FUND THAT THIS YEAR. BUT I DO THINK THAT WE'RE GOING TO WORK IN A BIPARTISAN EFFORT TO TRY TO GET THAT RESOLVED THIS YEAR BECAUSE IF WE CAN FULLY FUND THE SALARY BILL, I THINK THAT GUARANTEES THAT WE WON'T HAVE A DOUBLE-DIGIT INCREASE. AND THEN OUR GOAL IS TO TRY TO LOWER IT TO THE POINT WHERE IT'S AT THE RATE OF INFLATION.

Glover: DEMOCRATS HAD A PRETTY GOOD YEAR LAST YEAR IN THE ELECTION AND LARGELY BECAUSE YOU WERE SUPPORTED BY THE LARGEST UNION REPRESENTING STATE WORKERS. WHY SHOULD WE ASSUME YOU'LL BE EVEN HANDED IN DEALING WITH THEM, GIVEN THAT THEY'RE YOUR POLITICAL ALLIES?

Murphy: WELL, I THINK, MICHAEL -- I THINK THE BIG PART IS A LOT OF PEOPLE ALWAYS TALK ABOUT, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE -- PRIVATE INTEREST GROUPS AND THE INFLUENCE THEY HAVE ON THE LEGISLATURE, BUT DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO DO WHAT'S BEST FOR THE STATE. AND QUITE FRANKLY, YOU TALK ABOUT AFSCME BUT AT THE SAME POINT THOUGH, TOO, I THINK YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU'RE LOOKING AT THE PEOPLE THAT PROVIDE THE SERVICES TO THIS STATE: STATE TROOPERS; WHEN YOU TAKE A LOOK AT THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, THEY'RE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR STAFFING LEVELS. I HEAR ABOUT IT BECAUSE ANAMOSA IS ONLY 30 OR 40 MILES FROM MY DISTRICT. THERE ARE STAFFING LEVELS THAT THEY'RE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT, SO I THINK WE'RE GOING TO DO MORE TO ADDRESS THE CONCERNS OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND GUARANTEEING THAT SERVICES ARE PROVIDED, AND I DON'T THINK IT REALLY HAS TO DO WITH -- WITH THE LABOR UNION AND, YOU KNOW, WHAT THEY DID FOR US IN THE LAST ELECTION.

Yepsen: MR. SPEAKER, THE LEGISLATURE -- THE GOVERNOR'S BUDGET PROPOSES INCREASING SPENDING ANYWHERE FROM 6 TO 7 PERCENT, DEPENDING UPON HOW YOU CALCULATE IT. WE HAVEN'T EVEN TALKED ABOUT HEALTH CARE OUT HERE. WE'VE TALKED ABOUT A LOT OF PLACES WHERE DEMOCRATS WANT TO SPEND MORE MONEY.

Murphy: MM-HMM.

Yepsen: WHERE DO DEMOCRATS WANT TO MAKE SOME CUTS?

Murphy: I THINK THAT WHEN WE LOOK AT THAT -- WELL, FIRST OF ALL, LET'S TAKE A LOOK --

Yepsen: I MEAN IS THERE ANY PLACE THAT THE DEMOCRATS WANT TO CUT THE STATE BUDGET TO SAVE SOME MONEY?

Murphy: I THINK WE'RE GOING TO REVIEW THAT THROUGH THE BUDGET PROCESS. BUT I DO WANT TO REMIND YOU AND I WANT TO REMIND ALL IOWANS HERE THAT IF YOU GO BACK ABOUT FOUR OR FIVE YEARS AGO, WE CUT 10 PERCENT OF THE STATE BUDGET. WE HAVE -- WE HAD A $4.9-BILLION BUDGET IN 2000 AND 2001 -- OR BY 2002 IT WAS DOWN TO $4.4 BILLION. WE ELIMINATED 10 PERCENT OF THE STATE WORK FORCE. WE ELIMINATED 10 PERCENT OF THE STATE BUDGET. AND YOU HAD SCHOOL DISTRICTS THAT WERE LAYING OFF TEACHERS. YOU HAD LOCALS -- NOT JUST SCHOOL DISTRICTS BUT LOCAL COMMUNITIES HOLLERING BECAUSE THEY WERE GOING TO LAY OFF FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICEMEN BECAUSE WE DIDN'T FUND PROPERTY TAX CREDITS. THE MOST IMPORTANT PART FOR US TO DO IS TO PLAY OUR PART IN MAKING SURE THAT WE HAVE A GOOD EDUCATION SYSTEM AND THAT WE MAKE SURE THAT WE DO THE THINGS THAT HELP LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. SO I THINK THOSE ARE THE THINGS THAT WE'RE GOING TO FOCUS ON. WE'RE GOING TO FOCUS ON OUR PLAN FOR PROSPERITY. AND THEN I THINK IF THERE'S AREAS THAT WE CAN FIND SAVINGS, WE WILL DO IT. BUT WE WANT TO DO IT IN A RESPONSIBLE WAY. WE DON'T WANT TO DO ACROSS-THE-BOARD CUTS, AND WE DON'T WANT TO CAUSE STRIFE THAT ENDS UP CAUSING INJURIES OR ANYTHING ALONG THOSE LINES AT OUR CORRECTIONS INSTITUTIONS IN GUARANTEEING PUBLIC SAFETY.

Glover: MR. SPEAKER, YOU'RE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE. YOU'RE ALSO A DEMOCRATIC POLITICIAN, AND THERE'S A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN UNFOLDING IN IOWA. WHO'S DOING WELL? WHO'S DOING POORLY?

Murphy: WELL, AT THIS POINT I THINK YOU COULD SAY ALL OF THEM ARE DOING WELL BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T HAD -- THEY HAVEN'T HAD TO -- THEY REALLY HAVEN'T HAD TO DO MUCH AT THIS POINT. YOU KNOW -- YOU KNOW, DEMOCRATS HAVE TAKEN CONTROL OF THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE AND THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE. WE'RE FOCUSED MORE RIGHT NOW ON WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE LEGISLATURE. MOST OF THEM ARE JUST STARTING TO SHOW UP NOW WITH THE IDEA OF GETTING SOME ATTENTION. I THINK THAT'S PROBABLY MORE SOMETHING THAT THE FIRST BLUSH ON THAT SHOULD BE PROBABLY GIVEN IN THE SUMMER, LATE SUMMER.

Borg: I HAVE TO FOCUS ON TIME, AND WE'RE OUT OF IT. THANKS SO MUCH FOR BEING WITH US TODAY AND FOR YOUR INSIGHT.

Murphy: THANKS, DEAN.

Borg: WE'LL HAVE ANOTHER EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS' NEXT WEEKEND, SAME TIME: 7:30 FRIDAY NIGHT; 11:30 SUNDAY MORNING. 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; AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA, THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE.


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