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Iowa Press #2814 - Rep. Richard Myers, D-Iowa City
Dec. 3, 2000

Dean Borg: IOWA STATEHOUSE DEMOCRATS ARE FINE-TUNING THEIR LEGISLATIVE AGENDA FOR THE UPCOMING IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY. WE'LL DISCUSS THOSE LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES WITH THE NEW MINORITY LEADER IN THE IOWA HOUSE - REPRESENTATIVE RICHARD MYERS OF IOWA CITY - ON THIS EDITION OF IOWA PRESS.

Narrator: FUNDING FOR IOWA PRESS HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY FRIENDS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION. FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS. . . IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS. AND BY THE ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY - THE VOICE OF IOWA BUSINESS - REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF OVER 1,500 IOWA BUSINESSES, EMPLOYING 300,000 IOWANS. THIS IS THE SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3RD EDITION OF IOWA PRESS. HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: THE RESULTS OF THE GENERAL ELECTION OF 2000 CONTINUE TO BE A NATIONAL ISSUE BUT AT THE IOWA STATEHOUSE IT'S SETTLED . THE RESULTS THERE TELL US THE BALANCE-OF-POWER IN IOWA'S GENERAL ASSEMBLY IS UNCHANGED. WHEN THE 79TH IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY CONVENES ON JANUARY 8TH , THE REPUBLICANS WILL MAINTAIN BOTH SENATE AND HOUSE MAJORITIES. THE G.O.P. ADVANTAGE IS 30-TO-20 IN THE IOWA SENATE AND 56-TO-44 IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. BUT THERE IS A CHANGE IN THE LEADERSHIP GRID. REPUBLICANS THOUGH STAYED WITH SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE BRENT SIEGRIST AND SENATOR STEWART IVERSON LEADING THEIR RESPECTIVE CHAMBERS, AND DEMOCRATS STILL HAVE SENATOR MIKE GRONSTAL LEADING THE SENATE'S MINORITY PARTY, BUT IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, MYERS OF IOWA CITY REPLACES DAVE SCHRADER AS MINORITY LEADER. REPRESENTATIVE MYERS - WELCOME TO IOWA PRESS.

Myers: WELL, THANK YOU DEAN.

Borg: LOOK FORWARD TO TALKING WITH YOU. AT THE TABLE STATEHOUSE REPORTERS . . .DAVID YEPSEN OF THE DES MOINES REGISTER . . . AND KATHIE OBRADOVICH OF THE LEE NEWSPAPERS.

Obradovich: REPRESENTATIVE MYERS, YOU'VE HAD A CHANCE TO MEET WITH THE MEMBERS OF YOUR CAUCUS IN THE HOUSE, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TOP PRIORITIES FOR DEMOCRATS IN THE UPCOMING 2001 LEGISLATIVE SESSION?

Myers: WELL, CLEARLY, I THINK OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY IS GOING TO BE WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT EDUCATION AND TEACHER COMPENSATION. THESE ARE ISSUES THAT CAME UP IN THE ELECTION. PEOPLE, I THINK WANT US TO DO THAT AND SO WE'RE GOING TO BE DEALING WITH THE WHOLE ISSUE HOW WE INCREASE..PARDON ME..DEAL WITH THE FACT THAT ABOUT 40 PERCENT OF OUR TEACHERS ARE GOING TO LEAVE WITHIN THE NEXT 10 YEARS AND WHAT ARE WE DOING TO RETAIN GOOD TEACHERS. ALSO, WE'RE GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT STANDARDS FOR EDUCATION. THAT'S CLEARLY GOING TO BE PART OF THE PACKAGE. IN ADDITION TO THAT, WE'RE INTERESTED IN ISSUES THAT CONCERN KEEPING IOWA'S CHILDREN SAFE, AS WELL AS HEALTHCARE WITH SENIOR CITIZENS. PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS, THINGS OF THAT NATURE. AS WELL AS ISSUES THAT CONCERN ECONOMIC SECURITY.

Yepsen: HOW WILL THE AGENDA OF HOUSE DEMOCRATS DIFFER FROM GOVERNOR VILSACK'S? YOU GOT YOUR OWN AGENDA OR DO YOU JUST WORK OFF HIS SCRIPT?

Myers: WE'RE GOING TO HAVE OUR OWN AGENDA. IN FACT, WE'RE WORKING ON THAT RIGHT NOW. NOW, OBVIOUSLY, WE WANT TO WORK WITH THE GOVERNOR. JUST LIKE WE WANT TO WORK WITH THE HOUSE REPUBLICANS. BUT WE HAVE OUR OWN POSITIONS ON ISSUES AND I THINK YOU'LL SEE US DEVELOP THOSE ISSUES THAT REFLECT WHERE WE CAME FROM AND OUR PHILOSOPHY IN GENERAL.

Yepsen: ARE THERE ANY POINTS RIGHT NOW, THAT YOU KNOW OF THAT YOU WILL DIFFER WITH THE GOVERNOR. I'M THINKING LAST YEAR FOR EXAMPLE, THAT HE WANTED TO ENACT AN INITIATIVE PROCESS ON MAJOR TAX INCREASES, A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE. HOUSE DEMOCRATS DID NOT LIKE THAT IDEA. ARE THERE PLACES LIKE THAT NOW, MR. MYERS, THAT YOU KNOW OF THAT YOU WILL DIFFER WITH GOVERNOR VILSACK?

Myers: WELL, I'M SURE THERE ARE GOING TO BE DIFFERENCES IN DETAILS. BUT CLEARLY, THE GOVERNOR WANTS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE EDUCATION AND TEACHERS' SALARIES AND THE WHOLE ISSUE OF STANDARDS OF EDUCATION. THERE'S SOME BASIC THINGS THAT WE'RE GOING TO AGREE ON BUT WE'RE GOING TO GET INVOLVED IN DETAILS . WE WANT TO HAVE OUR INPUT IN THAT PROCESS AND WE WILL.

Obradovich: DID HOUSE DEMOCRATS DIFFER ENOUGH FROM THE GOVERNOR'S LEGISLATIVE AGENDA IN THE PAST SESSION OR WERE YOU OVERSHADOWED BY HIS AGENDA, AND DID THAT HURT YOU IN THE ELECTION?

Myers: WELL, THAT'S AN INTERESTING QUESTION. I SAID, WERE WE IRRELEVANT TO THE PROCESS, IS THE WAY THAT I PUT IT. I BELIEVE THAT IS THE QUESTION..THAT IS A CHORE IF YOU WILL, THAT'S A JOB OF THE HOUSE LEADERSHIP. I BELIEVE THAT'S OUR TASK TO BE SURE THAT OUR AGENDA IS REPRESENTED AND ARTICULATED AND DISCUSSED AND DEBATED, NOT ONLY WITH THE GOVERNOR BUT WITH THE MAJORITY PARTY IN THE LEGISLATURE.

Obradovich: AND WERE YOU RELEVANT TO THE PROCESS LAST SESSION?

Myers: I THINK WE WERE, BUT I BELIEVE WE CAN IMPROVE THAT.

Borg: I WANT TO..GO AHEAD KATHIE...

Obradovich: I JUST WANT TO ASK HIM, HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE THAT?

Myers: BY GETTING MORE OWNERSHIP OF THE WHOLE AGENDA, INVOLVED IN OUR MEMBERS. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I WANT TO DO, IS BRING MEMBERS MORE INTO THE PROCESS THAN PERHAPS THEY WERE IN THE PAST. YOU KNOW, WE'VE GOT SOME TALENTED PEOPLE IN OUR CAUCUS AND WE NEED TO PUT THEM TO WORK, AND SO I WANT A MORE ACTIVE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND A HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THAT IS RESPONSIBLE TO THE TASKS ASSIGNED TO THEM.

Borg: I WANT TO SHARPEN KATHIE'S QUESTION, SHE HARKENED BACK TO PAST PERFORMANCE AND THEN THE RESULTS OF THE ELECTION, WHY DO YOU THINK THAT DEMOCRATS FAILED IN THEIR ATTEMPT AND HOPE TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE LEGISLATURE, SPECIFICALLY, WHY DIDN'T YOU PICK UP SOME HOUSE SEATS?

Myers: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, WE DID DEFEAT 4 INCUMBENTS AND .WHICH WAS NOT AN EASY THING TO DO IN A TIME WHEN THE ECONOMY IS PRETTY GOOD. I MEAN, WE DID DO THAT. WE ELECTED SOME FINE..NINE NEW FOLKS TO THE IOWA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO CAN SERVE IN THE LEGISLATURE, THEY'RE WELL QUALIFIED TO BE THERE. I DON'T THINK THAT WE FAILED. I THINK WE JUST DIDN'T ADVANCE FAR ENOUGH, LET'S PUT IT THAT WAY. MAYBE THAT'S MY SPIN, BUT WE'VE GOT WORK TO DO. WHETHER SOMEONE LOST OR WON AN ELECTION, RIGHT NOW, ISN'T RELEVANT TO THE PROCESS. WE'RE GOING TO EXAMINE THOSE RESULTS, WHEN WE START GETTING READY FOR THE NEXT CAMPAIGN. RIGHT NOW, WE'RE GETTING READY FOR THE NEXT SESSION AND I WANT..THE CAMPAIGN IS OVER WITH. THE ELECTION'S DONE. IT'S TIME TO GOVERN.

Obradovich: REPRESENTATIVE SCHRADER HAD A LONGER THAN NORMAL TENURE AS A MINORITY LEADER IN THE IOWA HOUSE, HOW IS YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE AND YOUR PRIORITIES OR THE WAY YOU GET THINGS DONE, GOING TO BE DIFFERENT FROM HOW HE DID THINGS?

Myers: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I SERVED WITH REPRESENTATIVE SCHRADER, YOU KNOW, EVER SINCE I'VE BEEN IN THE LEGISLATURE, HE'D BEEN THERE A LONG TIME, AND I'VE NEVER KNOWN ANYONE TO BE MORE OPEN AND HONEST AND DIRECT IN HIS ABILITY TO LEAD OUR CAUCUS. HE DID A WONDERFUL JOB. HE IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF OUR CAUCUS..STILL IS...HIS LEADERSHIP AND HIS COUNSEL IS VERY IMPORTANT TO OUR SUCCESS, I THINK. I THINK THAT MY STYLE WILL REFLECT THE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE THAT I HAVE IN BUSINESS AS WELL AS IN GOVERNMENT. I'VE BEEN, YOU KNOW, IN ELECTED OFFICE, COVERING A SPAN OF SOME 31 YEARS, AS WELL AS RUNNING A BUSINESS FOR SOME 40 YEARS AND I WANT TO INVOLVE PEOPLE IN THE PROCESS. THAT TO ME IS IMPERATIVE. IN OTHER WORDS, DELEGATE AND PIN PEOPLE DOWN FOR RESPONSIBILITY. GIVE THEM TASKS TO DO. THAT MAYBE, A LITTLE BIT MORE..A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT THAN WHAT DAVID DID.

Yepsen: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I HEAR FROM PEOPLE UP AT THE CAPITOL, IS THAT YOU ARE A LESS PARTISAN GUY THAN DAVE SCHRADER WAS AND THAT YOU..AND BECAUSE OF YOUR BUSINESS EXPERIENCE, YOU'LL FIND IT EASIER TO WORK WITH REPUBLICANS, WHO CONTROL THE HOUSE, IS THAT CORRECT?

Myers: WELL, IT MAY BE OVERSTATED TO SOME DEGREE. FIRST OF ALL, I'M LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS. I ALWAYS LOOK FOR SOLUTIONS. I THINK THAT IS WHAT WE WERE SENT HERE TO DO. WE'RE NOT SENT HERE JUST TO GET INVOLVED IN IDEALOGICAL ARGUMENTS. BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, I'M A DEMOCRAT AND WE DO NOT NEED TWO REPUBLICAN PARTIES IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. SO, I WANT TO BE SURE THAT OUR POINT OF VIEW IS REPRESENTED. I WANT TO BE SURE THAT WE HAVE SHARP CONTRAST AND DEBATES AND THAT WE PRESENT OUR PROGRAM NOT ONLY TO THE MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY BUT TO THE PUBLIC AT LARGE BECAUSE WE HAVE TO GIVE PEOPLE A REASON TO SUPPORT US AND I THINK THAT'S OUR JOB.

Yepsen: WELL, YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU ARE A BUSINESSMAN.

Myers: HMM..HUH...

Yepsen: WHAT WILL DEMOCRATS BE DOING TO FOSTER BETTER RELATIONS WITH BUSINESS?

Myers: WELL FIRST OF ALL, BE VERY OPEN WITH THEM ABOUT THE PROCESS. ARTICULATE OUR POSITIONS. MEET WITH THEM. LISTEN TO THEM. LOOK FOR WAYS THAT WE CAN COMPROMISE. SOMETIMES WE CAN'T. SOMETIMES YOU JUST CAN NOT BE. THERE ARE ISSUES PERHAPS THAT NEED TO HAVE WHAT I'D CALL, A POLITICAL CASE MADE FOR THEM. AND YOU KNOW, I THINK YOU SAW AN ISSUE LIKE THAT IN THE LAST SESSION, WHEN YOU TALKED ABOUT..WHEN WE BRIEFLY DISCUSSED UTILITY DEREGULATION. THERE WAS AN EXAMPLE WHERE I THOUGHT THE CASE WAS NEVER MADE TO DO THAT AND YOU KNOW, WE USE TO HAVE..WE HAVE AN ISSUE THAT IS A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE IN THE WAY THIS STATE OPERATES REGARDLESS OF WHAT IT IS. IT'S A LOT OF EDUCATING TO DO AND THERE'S A LOT OF WORK TO BE DONE TO MAKE SURE THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT TO DO. I'M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU THAT EVERYTHING WE DO IS GOING TO BE BI-PARTISAN, BUT I NOTE THAT SOME OF THE MOST..THE BEST MAJOR LEGISLATION IS BI-PARTISAN LEGISLATION. AND YOU KNOW, I READ THE OTHER DAY, THAT REPRESENTATIVE...CONGRESSMAN LEACH, RATHER, WAS IN IOWA CITY AND HE SAID, ..I'M NOT QUOTING EXACTLY,...BUT HE SAID SOMETHING ABOUT THE FACT THAT WE SHOULD NOT BE AFRAID OF PARTISANSHIP AND I THINK THAT'S GOOD ADVICE. THAT SOME OF THE BEST BI-PARTISAN LEGISLATION HAS BEEN WRITTEN WITH A PARTISAN BASIS AND SO, I WANT TO BE SURE THAT WE MAINTAIN OUR PARTISAN BASIS.

Obradovich: YOU MENTIONED ELECTRIC RESTRUCTURING AND THAT WAS AN ISSUE WHERE GOVERNOR VILSACK WAS WANTING TO MOVE FORWARD ...DEMOCRATS IN THE HOUSE IN PARTICULAR, WEREN'T READY TO DO THAT. WAS THAT A MISTAKE THAT ..THAT DID NOT GET DEVELOPED AND THAT DIFFERENCES DIDN'T GET WORKED OUT? I MEAN, THAT WAS ONE, VERY HIGH PRIORITY ISSUE FOR BUSINESSES IN IOWA. Myers: WELL FIRST OF ALL, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAD THE MAJORITY. I MEAN, THEY COULD HAVE PASSED THAT LEGISLATION IF THEY WANTED TO. THEY CAN PASS THE MINUTES, WE CAN'T. AND WE WANT TO HAVE INPUT INTO THE PROCESS. THERE MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN SOME OF OUR MEMBERS THAT WANTED TO WORK ON THAT ISSUE. LOOK, IF THIS IS AN ISSUE, THAT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE PROSPERITY OF THIS STATE.AND I DON'T MEAN JUST THE PROSPERITY OF LARGE BUSINESS, I MEAN, THE PROSPERITY FOR ALL IOWANS, IF THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE, THEN WE NEED TO WORK TO TRY AND SOLVE THAT PROBLEM. NOW MAYBE, IT CAN'T BE DONE. THAT CASE WAS NEVER REALLY PRESENTED, I THINK, TO THE IOWA LEGISLATURE AND CERTAINLY, THE GRASSROOTS WORK THAT NEEDED TO BE DONE TO BUILD THAT CASE WASN'T ACCOMPLISHED. AND SO, I BELIEVE THAT THE FAILURE OF SOME OF THE LARGE FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES SOMETIMES, CAN BE ATTRIBUTED MORE TO A LACK OF LEADERSHIP THAN PERHAPS A ...A SATISFACTORY ISSUE ITSELF.

Obradovich: WELL, GOVERNOR VILSACK WANTED TO SEE THAT DONE...WAS HE NOT PROVIDING ENOUGH LEADERSHIP FROM THE TOP DOWN TO GET SOME OF THAT...?

Myers: NO, I THINK GOVERNOR VILSACK DID EVERYTHING HE COULD. I NOTE THAT ON ABOUT 20TH OF JANUARY OR SO, LAST YEAR, THAT HE SENT HIS CHIEF OF STAFF OVER TO MAPLE STREET, WHEREVER THE UTILITY BOARD HEADQUARTERS...TO BROKER, IF YOU WILL OR TO CHAIR DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN THE INDUSTRY AND THE IOWA UTILITIES BOARD AND VARIOUS GROUPS IN THE COMMERCE COMMITTEE. I NOTE THAT HE DID THAT. SEEMS TO ME LIKE THE GOVERNOR WAS PROVIDING LEADERSHIP. HE WAS LOOKING FOR A SOLUTION ALSO. IT JUST DIDN'T COME ABOUT. AND BEAR IN MIND, THIS IS A VERY COMPLICATED, FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE FOR THE STATE OF IOWA. IT SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN DONE IN HASTE AND SO, THERE WAS A GOOD REASON WHY IT DIDN'T GET TO THE FLOOR LAST YEAR.

Yepsen: ANOTHER ISSUE BUSINESS CARES ABOUT IN THIS STATE IS THE RIGHT-TO-WORK LAW. SHOULD WE REPEAL IT?

Myers: NO.

Yepsen: YOUR PARTY CALLS FOR REPEAL OF IT?

Myers: I KNOW...WELL, IN THE FIRST PLACE, EACH INDIVIDUAL MEMBER WILL MAKE-UP THEIR OWN MIND ABOUT THAT. I AM NOT..I'M NOT ADVOCATING REPEAL OF THE RIGHT-TO-WORK LAW, I WOULD ALSO TELL YOU, PERSONALLY, THAT I HAVE ANSWERED THAT QUESTION ON AFL-CIO QUESTIONAIRES FOR 23 YEARS, I BELIEVE, AND I'VE ALSO ANSWERED THAT QUESTION IN SOME BUSINESS QUESTIONAIRES. I DON'T ALWAYS FILL ALL OF THEM OUT, I'LL ADMIT THAT. BUT I HAVE NEVER ADVOCATED REPEAL OF THE RIGHT-TO-WORK LAW.

Borg: SO, YOU WANT TO KEEP THE LAW?

Myers: YES.

Yepsen: WELL NOW, WHY DID THE..DO YOU THINK IT WAS A MISTAKE FOR THE GOVERNOR'S DEPARTMENT HEAD .AT THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TO REMOVE REFERENCES TO THE RIGHT-TO-WORK LAW FROM THE STATE'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BROCHURES AND WEBSITES? MANY DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES FOR THE IOWA HOUSE, WERE BEATEN UP OVER THAT DECISION..WAS THAT A MISTAKE BY THE VILSACK ADMINISTRATION TO DO THAT?

Myers: WELL, I THINK THE GOVERNOR OUGHT TO HAVE THE RIGHT TO MANAGE HIS OWN DEPARTMENTS, AND I DO NOT BELIEVE THE IOWA LEGISLATURE HAS ANY BUSINESS PROPOSING LEGISLATION TO MEDDLE IN THAT SORT OF THING AND I'M SURE THERE'S GOING TO BE A BILL RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX, TO DO JUST THAT. I WILL NOT SUPPORT THAT KIND OF LEGISLATION. I BELIEVE THE GOVERNOR HAD A RIGHT TO DO THAT. HE'S MANAGING THAT DEPARTMENT. HE FELT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO DO SO AND I'M GOING TO LEAVE THAT ALONE.

Yepsen: WHY DO YOU WANT TO ADVERTISE THE FACT IOWA HAS A RIGHT-TO-WORK LAW?

Myers: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, THESE PEOPLE COMING TO THE STATE, ARE NOT STUPID. THEY KNOW WHERE THE RIGHT-TO-WORK LAW IS. I MEAN, THESE GUYS THAT ARE LOOKING AND LOCATING BUSINESSES HERE, ARE PRETTY SMART FOLKS. I'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THIS ..IN THIS STATE. I WAS CHAIR OF THE JOHNSTON COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE, WHILE I WAS A MEMBER OF THE IOWA CITY ...UH..THE JOHNSTON COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS. I'VE BEEN INTIMATELY INVOLVED IN GOING OUT TO OTHER COUNTRIES AND LOOKING FOR BUSINESS TO COME INTO THIS STATE...INTO THIS STATE AND INTO OUR AREA IN PARTICULAR. AND THE PEOPLE, THEY KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING. THEY'VE DONE THEIR HOMEWORK. I DON'T BELIEVE IT'S AN ISSUE THAT YOU NEED TO FLAG IN THEIR FACE, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.

Obradovich: IF ..YOU TOUCHED ON THIS A LITTLE BIT ALREADY BUT I'M WONDERING ABOUT YOUR PHILOSOPHY ON THE ROLE OF THE MINORITY PARTY IN THE LEGISLATURE. ARE YOU THERE TO OUTLINE SHARP DIFFERENCES WITH THE REPUBLICANS OR ARE YOU THERE TO FIND PLACES WHERE YOU CAN COOPERATE AND GET YOU KNOW, CERTAIN THINGS DONE? OR IS IT A COMBINATION OF BOTH?

Myers: I THINK IT'S ABSOLUTELY A COMBINATION OF BOTH. I HONESTLY THINK...THAT WE..EVERY ISSUE IS NOT A REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRATIC ISSUE. EVERY ISSUE DOES NOT HAVE A STRICT IDEALOGICAL BASE. IN FACT, WHEN YOU GET RIGHT DOWN TO IT..AS FAR AS REALLY FUNDAMENTAL ..LET'S CALL THEM "CONSCIENCE ISSUES" VERSUS "CONSTITUENCY ISSUES", THERE AREN'T THAT MANY OF THEM AND UH..WE'RE SENT DOWN THERE TO REPRESENT OUR DISTRICTS AND IT THINK WE OUGHT TO DO THAT. AND WE'RE SENT DOWN THERE TO REPRESENT THEM AS DEMOCRATS AND I THINK WE OUGHT TO DO THAT. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE SHARP DIFFERENCES , WE NEED TO POINT THEM OUT. BUT YOU KNOW, THIS IS NOT JUST AN ISSUE OF PHILOSOPHICAL ARGUMENT, THIS IS AN ISSUE OF LEADERSHIP AND HOW YOU WOULD LEAD THE STATE FORWARD. HOW YOU WOULD DEAL WITH THE ISSUES OF DEALING WITH EDUCATION AND SAFETY OF CHILDREN AND ECONOMIC ISSUES. THIS IS AN ISSUE OF LEADERSHIP AS MUCH AS IT IS IDEOLOGY.

Yepsen: MR. MYERS, I WANT TO TURN TO SOME SPECIFIC ISSUES IN FRONT OF THE LEGISLATURE..

Myers: OKAY..

Yepsen: YOU MENTIONED TEACHER PAY...

Myers: YES..

Yepsen: ..EVERYBODY IS FOR HIGHER PAY FOR TEACHERS..

Myers: ..HUH-HUH..

Yepsen: WHERE DO YOU GET THE MONEY?

Myers: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, WE DO NOT TAKE IT FROM OTHER..IN MY JUDGEMENT, WE DON'T TAKE IT FROM OTHER PARTS OF THE EDUCATION BUDGET. I AM NOT INTERESTED WHATSOEVER, IN STUNTING OR LIMITING ALLOWABLE GROWTH FORMULAS, TO SHIFT MONEY TOWARDS TEACHER PAY. I DON'T THINK THAT SOLVES ANYTHING OR FOR ANY OTHER PART OF THE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION..INSTITUTION OR FAMILIES?

Yepsen: ARE YOU BEING PAROCHIAL BY THAT, BECAUSE YOU REPRESENT THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA?

Myers: NO. I' M SAYING THAT EDUCATION AT ALL LEVELS IS IMPORTANT IN THIS STATE AND IT SHOULD STAND ON ITS OWN MERIT, EACH PROGRAM.

Yepsen: BECAUSE IN FACT..EXCUSE ME SIR..IN FACT, THE GOVERNOR HAS SAID.WE CAN'T AFFORD TO GIVE EVERYTHING TO EVERYBODY IN EDUCATION. WE HAVE TO REALLOCATE PRIORITIES.

Myers: BUT YOU COULD SAY THAT IN ANY YEAR, REGARDLESS OF WHAT OUR ISSUES WERE. YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO GIVE EVERYTHING THAT SOMEBODY ASKS FOR ABOUT ANYTHING IN THE BUDGET, NOT JUST EDUCATION.

Yepsen: WELL, HE SAYS THE STATE SPENDS $11,000 A YEAR PER STUDENT AT THE STATE UNIVERSITIES. WE SPEND FAR LESS THAN THAT AT COMMUNITY COLLEGES AND K-12..IT'S ABOUT $2,500.

Myers: HUH-HUH. THERE'S VERY GOOD REASONS FOR THAT. ALL KINDS OF REASONS. WHAT IS..THE ACTUAL COST TO TEACH SOMEBODY IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL VERSUS A POST SECONDARY COLLEGE, IS QUITE DIFFERENT. PEOPLE GET PAID DIFFERENTLY. THE FACILITIES ARE DIFFERENT. THERE'S ALL SORTS OF REASONS WHY THOSE COSTS ARE HIGHER. I THINK THAT STATISTIC IS REALLY PHONY.

Yepsen: YOU WANT TO GIVE MONEY...WELL, IT'S THE GOVERNOR'S STATISTIC..

Myers: NO, IT ISN'T THE GOVERNOR'S STATISTIC. HE MAY USE THAT STATISTIC BUT IT WAS DERIVED BY SOMEBODY ELSE.

Yepsen: BACK TO MY QUESTION..WHERE DO YOU GET THE MONEY? I MEAN, THE STATE BUDGET HAS GOT A FINITE AMOUNT OF MONEY IN IT?

Myers: THAT'S RIGHT. IT'S GOT SOME NEW MONEY IN IT..

Yepsen: ...WHERE DO YOU GET THE MONEY?

Myers: WELL, ONE THING YOU DO, IS FUND YOUR PRIORITIES FIRST BEFORE WE START TALKING ABOUT TAX REDUCTIONS, AND I THINK THAT'S IMPERATIVE. AND SOMETIMES, IN THE LEGISLATURE, WE FORGOT TO DO THAT. WE WANTED TO KEEP THE CAMPAIGN GOING AFTER THE ELECTION, AND I'M NOT REALLY INTERESTED IN THAT. I WANT TO SEE THAT THESE PRIORITIES ARE FUNDED. IT MAY BE..IT MAY BE THAT WE HAVE TO SHIFT MONEY HERE OR THERE BUT I WANT TO SPEND NEW MONEY ON EDUCATION AND I BELIEVE THAT MY CAUCUS FEELS THE SAME WAY.

Yepsen: SHOULD WE REPEAL THE TAX CUTS THAT HAVE BEEN ENACTED IN RECENT YEARS?

Myers: NO.

Obradovich: THE GOVERNOR HAS SAID THAT MONEY IN THE EXISTING BUDGET WILL HAVE TO BE REALLOCATED TO PAY FOR..I MEAN, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT 50 OR 60 MILLION DOLLARS IN THE FIRST YEAR FOR TEACHERS' SALARIES...

Myers: ..YEAH..HUH-HUH..

Obradovich: ...IS THAT A PLACE WHERE DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO DISAGREE?

Myers: MIGHT BE. YOU ASKED A MINUTE AGO ABOUT WHERE THERE MIGHT BE DISAGREEMENTS WITH THE GOVERNOR..

Obradovich: ..AND THIS IS ONE?

Myers: BUT AGAIN...OUR AGENDA WILL INCLUDE THE FACT THAT WE DO NOT WANT TO SHIFT MONEY AWAY FROM OTHER K-12 ISSUES. SO, THAT MAY BE A POINT OF DISAGREEMENT BUT THAT'S ALSO SOMETHING WE NEED TO NEGOTIATE, AND WE SHOULDN'T BE AFRAID OF THAT NEGOTIATION.

Yepsen: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO CUT IN THE BUDGET?

Myers: WHAT DO I WANT TO CUT IN THE BUDGET?

Yepsen: WHAT DO DEMOCRATS SUPPORT CUTTING?

Myers: WELL, I CAN'T SAY THAT RIGHT NOW. I DON'T THINK WE'VE REALLY ARTICULATED THAT. BUT, YOU KNOW, IT'S A HUGE DOCUMENT AND BEAR IN MIND, THE REPUBLICANS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE APPROPRIATION PROCESS. AND UH..I DO KNOW.AS I SAID, THERE'S NEW MONEY...THERE'S NEW MONEY IN THERE. MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, I'M CONCERNED ABOUT THE EFFECT THAT SOME LARGE TAX CUTS THAT HAVE BEEN PROPOSED BY THE REPUBLICANS. I THINK THEY'VE SORT OF OVER-PROMISED. RIGHT OFF THE BAT, THEY CAME OUT SAYING THAT THEY WANTED TO CUT THE UTILITY SALES TAXES ON RESIDENCES IN THE STATE. NOW, I'VE PUT BILLS IN LIKE THAT BEFORE AS ALTERNATIVES TO OTHER TAX CUTS. I UNDERSTAND THE BILL FOR RESIDENCES IS AROUND 90 MILLION BUCKS, AND THEN WE ALSO HEARD THINGS ABOUT SOME TAX CUTS ON OTHER PENSION PLANS AND SOCIAL SECURITY AND SO ON THAT MIGHT BE ANOTHER 50 TO 60 MILLION DOLLARS. THERE'S 150 MILLION DOLLARS, AND PLEASE DON'T HOLD ME TO THOSE NUMBERS BUT IT'S A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF MONEY. ALRIGHT? AND THERE'S NOT THAT MUCH NEW MONEY IN THIS BUDGET. THERE REALLY ISN'T. I DON'T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THE NUMBER IS BUT REGARDLESS, LET'S FUND OUR PRIORITIES FIRST.

Yepsen: BUT THEY'RE GOING TO SAY, "WHY SHOULD THE STATE PROFIT WITH THE REGRESSIVE TAX ON UTILITY BILLS?" "WHY SHOULD THE STATE PROFIT FROM TAXES ON SOCIAL SECURITY?" "DON'T WE WANT TO HELP SENIOR CITIZENS?" "DON'T WE WANT TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO STAY HERE?" WHAT ARE THE DEMOCRATS SAY TO THAT?

Myers: WELL FIRST OF ALL, WE ALL RAN SAYING, WE WERE GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT EDUCATION. SO, LET'S FIND THE MONEY THERE FIRST AND THEN DISCUSS THE TAX CUT ISSUE LATER.

Obradovich: ANOTHER TAX ISSUE, AS LONG AS WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THEM, IS REPUBLICANS WANT TO TRY AGAIN TO FREEZE PROPERTY TAXES. IS THERE A WAY TO MAKE A TAX IMPACT WITHOUT IMPACTING THE STATE BUDGET? YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT CITIES AND COUNTIES AND THEIR BUDGETS. ARE DEMOCRATS GOING TO OPPOSE THAT?

Myers: WELL FIRST OF ALL, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE A BILL. IN ALL THAT..ALL THAT RHETORIC THAT CAME UP IN THE CAMPAIGN ABOUT THE PROPERTY TAX FREEZE, AND SO AND SO WOULDN'T DO THIS, I SAW THE LITTLE RED AND GREEN BUTTON COMMERCIALS AND STUFF LIKE THAT, ..FIRST AND FOREMOST, THERE'S NEVER BEEN A CONCRETE WAY PUT TO THEM..TO THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE THAT WOULD ACCOMPLISH THESE KINDS OF THINGS. IF WE WENT BACK TO A FREEZE LIKE WE HAD ABOUT EIGHT OR TEN YEARS AGO, WE'VE ALREADY DEMONSTRATED WHERE THAT DIDN'T WORK. AND I SAY IT DIDN'T WORK BECAUSE IT CREATED IMPROPER BALANCES IN MANY COUNTIES AND IT ALSO CREATED SOME SHORTAGES THAT ALMOST PUT COUNTIES INTO BANKRUPTCIES. SO, THAT'S NOT THE WAY TO GO. AND LET'S REMEMBER SOMETHING ELSE: PEOPLE IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ARE ELECTED BY THE SAME FOLKS THAT ELECT US. I GET A LITTLE NERVOUS ABOUT SITTING IN DES MOINES AND THINKING I KNOW BEST FOR CITIES AND COUNTIES. I SERVED THERE AND I SEE THE PEOPLE..WHEN I WAS A COUNTY SUPERVISOR, THAT I MET EVERY DAY ON THE STREET, I'D SEE THEM AND IF THEY WERE ANGRY ABOUT SOMETHING I WAS DOING, THEY'D LET ME KNOW, BELIEVE ME. AND I'VE GOT 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE OF DOING THAT. SO, I'M A LITTLE BIT CAUTIOUS. I BELIEVE IN LOCAL CONTROL, LET'S PUT IT THAT WAY. AND SO FAR, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE A MECHANISM, IN A BILL, THAT WOULD ALLOW FOR SOMETHING LIKE AN ALLOWABLE GROWTH FORMULA. I KIND OF LIKE THAT IDEA. THAT'S WHERE THIS IDEA STARTED BY THE WAY. IT DIDN'T START AS A FREEZE. IT STARTED AS A WAY TO ALLOW CITY AND COUNTY BUDGETS TO GROW WITH THE RATE OF INFLATION AND WITH THEIR ACTUAL GROWTH FIGURE. YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE THINGS WE'VE BEEN DOING UNDER THOSE PROPERTY TAX FREEZES, IS WE PENALIZE GROWTH, FOR HEAVEN'S SAKES. WHAT SENSE DOES THAT MAKE? IF WE'VE GOT TO GET PEOPLE INTO THIS STATE.IF WE NEED JOBS..IF WE NEED TO EDUCATE FOLKS, WE'VE GOT TO HAVE GROWTH IN OUR CITIES.

Yepsen: MR. MYERS, ANOTHER ISSUE THAT THE LEGISLATURE WILL DEAL WITH IS CHILD ABUSE...

Myers: YES...

Yepsen: ..WHAT DO HOUSE DEMOCRATS WANT TO DO TO PREVENT IT?

Myers: WELL FIRST OF ALL, WE NEED TO PROPERLY STAFF THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, AND WE NEED TO PROPERLY TRAIN PEOPLE THAT DEAL WITH THAT. I MEAN, EVERY CHILD IN THIS STATE OUGHT TO HAVE THE EXPECTATION TO BE SAFE IN THEIR HOME AND SAFE IN THEIR SCHOOLS. AND IT SEEMS TO ME LIKE, WE HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY IN THERE, THAT WE'VE BEEN IGNORING. YOU KNOW, I GO BACK TO 1982 AND '83, WHEN I WAS A COUNTY SUPERVISOR AND I GOT A LETTER FROM GOVERNOR BRANSTAD, THAT SAID HE WAS REDUCING THE NUMBER OF CHILD PROTECTIVE WORKERS IN JOHNSON COUNTY, THAT WERE STATE EMPLOYEES. I CAN'T RECALL EXACTLY HOW MANY BUT I WANT TO SAY THREE OR FOUR. AND THAT PROCESS STARTED THEN, HAS BEEN GOING ON EVER SINCE. WE'RE NOT FUNDING THAT CORRECTLY AND I WOULD LIKE TO SEE US SPEND MONEY ON PEOPLE IN THE FIELD THAT ACTUALLY GO OUT AND WORK AND PROTECT CHILDREN AND WORK IN THE SOCIAL SERVICES AREA AND A LITTLE LESS SPENT IN DES MOINES.

Obradovich: REPUBLICANS HAVE ALSO INDICATED THAT THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE ANOTHER SHOT AT MAKING ENGLISH THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE...

Myers: YES...

Obradovich: ...FOR STATE DOCUMENTS..THIS HAS BEEN CONTROVERSIAL...THERE'S MAYBE SOME TALK OF SWEETENING THE POT WITH A LITTLE BIT MORE MONEY FOR ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE...WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT ISSUE?

Myers: NEAR AS I CAN TELL, WE'VE BEEN PRINTING DOCUMENTS IN THIS STATE IN ENGLISH, FOR MORE THAN 150 YEARS. I MEAN, WHY DO WE NEED A LAW TO DO THAT? TO INSULT PEOPLE, IS THAT WHAT WE WANT? ARE WE TRYING TO MAKE THIS STATE WELCOMED FOR FOLKS? I THINK WE SHOULD BE AND YOU KNOW, JUST LOOK AT WHO WE ARE. WE'RE A DIVERSE STATE OF MANY IMMIGRANTS. MY FOLKS ARE IMMIGRANTS. THEY CAME IN HERE FROM SWITZERLAND AND GERMANY. ALRIGHT? I DON'T KNOW WHERE THE REST OF YOU CAME FROM BUT YOU ALL CAME FROM SOMEWHERE. WE EAT BAGELS AND PIZZA AND DUTCH LETTERS AND ALL THAT KIND OF STUFF. DIVERSITY, I THINK, HELPS US GROW AND I THINK..DOING THINGS LIKE ENGLISH ONLY LANGUAGE PUT UP UNNECESSARY BARRIERS. TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH..AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED, THOSE ARE CAMPAIGN ISSUES. THEY DON'T HAVE ANY...WE'VE GOT MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO THAN TRY TO BUILD DIVISIONS WITH PEOPLE AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED.

Obradovich: BUT IT'S NOT ENTIRELY A PARTISAN ISSUE. SOME OF YOUR NEW MEMBERS HAVE SAID THAT THEY WOULD SUPPORT THIS AND IN FACT, POLLS HAVE SHOWN THAT IT'S PRETTY POPULAR, STATEWIDE. I MEAN, HOW DO YOU MAKE THE CASE TO CHANGE PEOPLES' MINDS ABOUT THAT?

Myers: WELL FIRST OF ALL, IT'S AN EDUCATION PROCESS ABOUT WHAT THE LAW REALLY MEANS, AND I NOTE THAT THERE WAS ABOUT 60 TO 65 VOTES FOR THAT THING, A FEW YEARS AGO WHEN WE DECIDED TO AMEND THAT BILL TO A WELCOME CENTER LANGUAGE. I DON'T KNOW IF YOU RECALL THAT OR NOT..I THINK REPRESENTATIVE DOTZLER PROPOSED THAT AMENDMENT ON THE FLOOR AND GOT IT PASSED AND SEEMS TO ME THAT WAS A VERY COMMON SENSE IOWA-TYPE THING TO DO. SO, WE'LL WORK ON THAT.

Yepsen: ANOTHER ISSUE IS THE BOTTLE BILL. SOME PEOPLE WANT TO DO AWAY WITH IT, SOME PEOPLE WANT TO EXPAND IT, WHAT DO HOUSE DEMOCRATS WANT TO DO?

Myers: WELL, I DOUBT VERY SERIOUSLY THAT YOU WILL SEE HOUSE DEMOCRATS WANT TO DO AWAY WITH THE BOTTLE BILL. THERE'S A COMMITTEE THAT HAS BEEN APPOINTED NOW TO STUDY EXPANSION INTO OTHER TYPES...I'M NOT SURE WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR THAT COMMITTEE NECESSARILY. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT BOTHERS ME ABOUT THE BOTTLE BILL IS THAT THE RENUMERATION THAT PEOPLE GET FOR HANDLING THAT PRODUCT IS THE SAME AS IT WAS WHEN THE LAW PASSED IN 1978. I THINK WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT. COSTS HAVE CERTAINLY GONE UP DRAMATICALLY AND I SYMPATHIZE WITH RETAILERS AND FOLKS LIKE THAT, THAT ARE HANDLING THESE PRODUCTS AND WORKING TO MAKE.AND DOING THEIR BEST TO MAKE THIS LAW WORK AND YET, ARE REALLY LOSING MONEY ON IT.

Yepsen: SO, SHOULD WE INCREASE THE DEPOSIT FROM A NICKLE TO A DIME?

Myers: WELL, I THINK WE NEED..I'M GOING TO SAY THIS MUCH. WE NEED TO LOOK AT THAT FINANCIAL RENUMERATION GOING TO THOSE PEOPLE HANDLING THAT PRODUCT. I WANT TO SEE THAT INCREASED. WHAT THAT MEANS, I'M NOT PREPARED TO SAY YET.

Borg: I WANT TO TAKE YOU BACK TO SOMETHING YOU SAID EARLIER ABOUT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT..

Myers: HUH-HUH. Borg:...AND THE GOVERNOR CONTROLLING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THAT DEPARTMENT. AS IT RELATES TO RURAL/URBAN TENSIONS..

Myers:...YES..

Borg: ...ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, THE GOVERNOR SAYS, NOW, WILL NO LONGER BE DONE WITH CRITERIA ON A GEOGRAPHIC BASIS, HE IS TARGETING ABOUT 4, AS I REMEMBERED, PRIORITY AREAS, WHICH PROBABLY ARE CENTERED IN URBAN AREAS. THE LOCAL OPTION SALES TAXES, CONTROVERSIAL, BECAUSE RURAL AREAS SAY...

Myers: THEY DON'T HAVE ANY SALES TAX BASE..

Borg:..RIGHT..BUT YOU'RE FROM A GROWING AREA, CORALVILLE IS ONE OF THE HIGHEST, FASTEST GROWING AREAS IN THE STATE..

Myers:...THAT'S RIGHT. HUH-HUH.

Borg: WHAT CAN BE DONE, IN LIGHT OF ALL OF THAT WE'VE TRACED HERE.WHAT CAN BE DONE TO EASE THOSE RURAL/URBAN TENSIONS OR IS THIS INEVITABLE IN THE WAY THE STATE IS GOING TO GROW?

Myers: WELL, I DON'T WANT TO SAY THAT IT'S INEVITABLE, BUT CLEARLY, THE WAY WE SPREAD OUR RESOURCES AROUND, IS PART OF THAT. I HOPE THAT FOLK..JUST ONE LITTLE THING THAT I CAN THINK OF, IS THIS "VISION IOWA" BUSINESS. ..THE WHOLE COMMITTEE THAT WAS SET-UP TO DO THAT. I HOPE THAT THE VISION IOWA FOLKS REALLY CONSIDER APPLICATIONS FROM ALL OVER THE STATE. I THINK THEY ARE. THEY'VE GOT TO MAKE THEM WORK FINANCIALLY, OF COURSE, BUT WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT IOWA IS NOT JUST DES MOINES AND IOWA CITY AND CEDAR RAPIDS AND SO FORTH, THAT ..THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE, THERE'S AN AWFUL LOT OF RURAL PEOPLE LIVING IN POVERTY. A LOT OF MINORITY PEOPLE LIVING IN POVERTY IN THOSE AREAS AND WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT. AND THAT GOES ALONG WITH KEEPING THE SCHOOLS ALIVE THERE. I REALIZE THERE'S A MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE SCHOOLS AND SO FORTH. YOU KNOW, I DON'T WANT TO PUT A KID ON A BUS FOR AN HOUR AND HALF ONE WAY OR AN HOUR ..WHATEVER IT IS..THAT MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. WE NEED TO UTILIZE RESOURCES LIKE THAT CAMERA OVER THERE ..BETTER UTILIZE THE..WHAT DO YOU CALL IT ...THE IOWA TELEVISION PROGRAM THAT WE STARTED A FEW YEARS AGO.

Yepsen: YOU MENTIONED VISION IOWA.

Myers: FIBER OPTICS I'M THINKING ABOUT.

Yepsen: SHOULD MORE MONEY BE PUT INTO VISION IOWA? YOU'VE GOT ABOUT 180 MILLION DOLLARS, OFFICIALS AT VISION IOWA SAY THEY'VE GOT ABOUT A BILLON DOLLARS WORTH OF IDEAS GOING AROUND...SO, THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO SAY NO TO MOST EVERYBODY WHO HAS A PROJECT THERE...SHOULD THE LEGISLATURE INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF MONEY AVAILABLE TO VISION IOWA, SO MORE OF THESE PROGRAMS ACROSS THE STATE CAN BE FUNDED?

Myers: FIRST OF ALL, LET'S MAKE THE ONES..LET'S JUST MAKE THIS PROGRAM WORK. LET'S SEE IF IT CAN WORK. NOW, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT YOU SEE WHEN YOU LOOK AT THAT LAW, RIGHT OFF THE BAT IS, IT REQUIRES A LOT OF LOCAL MATCH, A LOT OF LOCAL SUPPORT. THAT IS NOT GOING TO BE AS EASY TO GATHER AS YOU MIGHT THINK. SO, LET'S SEE HOW THIS WORKS. AND IF IT DOES MAKE SENSE, EXPAND IT. I VOTED ENTHUSIASTICALLY FOR THAT LAW BECAUSE I THOUGHT WE OUGHT TO INVEST IN OUR STATE AND I WAS SERIOUS ABOUT THAT. AND SO, I WANT TO MAKE THAT WORK. BUT, WE MAY FIND THAT THERE ARE SOME REAL HURDLES TO CLIMB AS FAR AS GETTING PEOPLE LOCALLY TO SUPPORT THEM, AND IF IT DOES WORK, MAYBE THAT'S SOMETHING TO CONSIDER. BUT RIGHT NOW, I JUST WANT TO SEE IF WE CAN MAKE THIS WORK. SO, I WANT TO ADVISE A LITTLE CAUTION ABOUT THAT.

Obradovich: AS YOU KNOW REPRESENTATIVE, A GROUP OF REPUBLICANS AND SOME STATE EMPLOYEES ARE SUING THE GOVERNOR RIGHT NOW, OVER HIS EXECUTIVE ORDER DEALING WITH DISCRIMINATION AGAINST GAYS IN STATE GOVERNMENT. IS THERE ANYTHING LEGISLATIVELY, THAT CAN BE DONE TO TRY AND RESOLVE THAT ISSUE OR DOES IT JUST HAVE TO PLAY OUT ON THE COURSE?

Myers: I DON'T KNOW. I THINK THE COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION MIGHT DEAL WITH THAT IN THE LONG RUN. I JUST FIND IT HARD TO UNDERSTAND WHY SOMEBODY WANTS TO SPEND STATE DOLLARS SUING THE GOVERNOR OVER SOMETHING THAT I THINK OUGHT TO BE HIS PERROGATIVE AND I THINK THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS SAID, OTHER LAWYERS HAVE SAID, THIS IS CLEARLY A SEPARATION OF POWERS ISSUE. I BELIEVE THIS IS CAMPAIGNING AND USING STATE DOLLARS TO DO IT.

Yepsen: WELL SHOULDN'T WE EXPAND RIGHTS FOR GAYS AND LESBIANS IN IOWA? I MEAN, THIS EXECUTIVE ORDER THAT KATHIE MENTIONED, JUST APPLIES TO EXECUTIVE BRANCH AGENCIES...

Myers: YES....

Yepsen: WHAT ABOUT DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT FOR ALL GAY AND LESBIAN PEOPLE? SHOULDN'T THE LEGISLATURE BAN THAT?

Myers: WELL LOOK, WE'VE ALREADY GOT THAT SIDE OF DISCRIMINATION DISCUSSED IN THE HATE CRIMES STATUE AND ITS BEEN ON THE BOOKS, WHAT.10-15 YEARS?

Yepsen: THEN WHY DO GAYS AND LESBIANS SAY WE NEED MORE LAWS?

Myers: WELL BECAUSE THEY DO. BECAUSE THEY ARE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST AS FAR AS EMPLOYMENT IS CONCERNED. I CLEARLY THINK THAT WE NEED TO LOOK AT THAT. THE LAWSUIT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT IS ABOUT STATE EMPLOYEES, HOWEVER, AND I BELIEVE, THE GOVERNOR HAD THE RIGHT TO DO THAT AND I SUPPORTED THAT WITH MY VOTE AS DID ALL THE MEMBERS OF MY CAUCUS WHEN IT CAME UP FOR THAT BANNING OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER LAST SESSION.

Yepsen: YOU RUN A MOTORCYCLE BUSINESS.

Myers: YES.

Yepsen: SHOULD WE INCREASE SPEED LIMITS IN THIS STATE?

Myers: WELL, I'VE VOTED AGAINST SPEED INCREASES BEFORE. I THINK THERE'S A REAL SAFETY ISSUE. ONE OF THE REASONS I VOTED FOR IT BEFORE WAS SOME OF THE COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY SIMPLY WASN'T GEARED UP TO RUN AT A HIGHER RATE OF SPEED. I MEAN, THEIR EQUIPMENT WOULDN'T STAND IT...THAT'S..ONE OF THE COMMERCIAL PEOPLE TOLD ME THAT..SO, THAT'S ANOTHER REASON TO VOTE AGAINST IT. IT RAISES INSURANCE RATES. IT RAISES THE DEATH RATES. HOWEVER, WHAT'S THE ROAD DOING OUT THERE RIGHT NOW? 70 MPH. YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S SOMETHING WE NEED TO TAKE A LOOK AT, BUT I AM REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE SAFETY ASPECT OF IT.

Borg: ONE THING THAT HAPPENS HERE, TIME GOES TOO FAST.

Myers: ARE DONE? MY WORD!

Borg: YES, WE ARE. THANK YOU REPRESENTATIVE MYERS. AND THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF IOWA PRESS AND WE LEAVE YOU WITH A REMINDER THAT IOWA PRESS VIEWERS CAN NOW JOIN US IN THE WORLDWIDE WEB. CLICK IN AND FIND TRANSCRIPTS OF PAST IOWA PRESS EDITIONS AND MORE. THE INTERNET ADDRESS IS WWW.IOWAPRESS.IPTV.ORG. WE'LL BE BACK NEXT SUNDAY AT NOON AND 7:00 PM, I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH. UNTIL THEN, I'M DEAN BORG AND THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.

Narrator: FUNDING FOR IOWA PRESS HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY FRIENDS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION. FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS. . . IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS. AND BY THE ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY - THE VOICE OF IOWA BUSINESS - REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF OVER 1,500 IOWA BUSINESSES EMPLOYING 300,000 IOWANS.