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IOWA PRESS #2823- State Sen. Jeff Lamberti and State Sen. Tom Flynn
February 4, 2001

David Yepsen: WITH STATE REVENUE FLATTENING OUT, LEGISLATIVE OBSERVERS SEE A MONEY CRUNCH IN THE NEAR FUTURE. WE'LL DISCUSS THE STATE'S FINANCIAL OUTLOOK WITH TWO KEY SENATORS... APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN JEFF LAMBERTI AND RANKING MEMBER TOM FLYNN, ON THIS EDITION OF IOWA PRESS.

Narrataor: FUNDING FOR IOWA PRESS HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY FRIENDS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION; AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; 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; AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA... THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE. THIS IS THE SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 4 EDITION OF IOWA PRESS. HERE IS DAVID YEPSEN.

Yepsen: THE IOWA LEGISLATURE'S APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEES SIT AT THE CROSSROADS OF WHAT'S RAISED AND WHAT'S SPENT AT THE IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY. THAT MEANS A POSITION ON ONE OF THE COMMITTEES OFFERS A FRONT-ROW SEAT IN THE ALLOCATION OF STATE RESOURCES. BOTH LONG-TERM AND SHORT-TERM SPENDING PROPOSALS ARE BEING FORMULATED IN THE SHADOW OF THREE IMPORTANT ISSUES ON THE TABLE: $40 MILLION IN NEW MONEY WILL BE NEEDED TO BOLSTER THE STATE'S COMMITMENT TO ADVANCING TEACHER SALARIES; AND LONG-TERM AND SHORT-TERM PROPOSALS TO ELIMINATE THE STATE SALES TAX ON UTILITIES CONSUMPTION HAVE GAINED MOMENTUM; AND TAX REVENUES ARE FLAT, THANKS TO A SOFTER ECONOMY. ALL THAT MAKES ALLOCATING RESOURCES JUST THAT MUCH MORE DIFFICULT FOR THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEES. WELL, HERE TO PROVIDE THEIR ASSESSMENTS FROM THOSE FRONT-ROW SEATS ARE SENATOR JEFF LAMBERTI OF ANKENY, WHO SERVES AS CHAIRMAN OF THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, AND SENATOR TOM FLYNN OF EPWORTH, WHO SERVES AS THE COMMITTEE'S RANKING MEMBER. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION AND TO IOWA PRESS. IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU WITH US. [Acknowledgement by guests]

Yepsen: ALSO WITH US AT THE IOWA PRESS TABLE ARE IOWA STATEHOUSE REPORTERS JOYCE RUSSELL OF WOI PUBLIC RADIO AND KAY HENDERSON OF RADIO IOWA.

Henderson: FELLAS, THE ECONOMY IS GOING SOUTH. THAT'S WHAT ALL THE INDICATORS TELL US, AND STATE TAX REVENUES HAVE SORT OF FLAT-LINED. WILL THE STATE OF IOWA, SENATOR LAMBERTI, HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE CURRENT BUDGETING YEAR, WHICH ENDS ON JUNE 30TH, OR WILL CUTS BE NECESSARY IN THE PRESENT YEAR STATE BUDGET?

Lamberti: WELL, WE'RE DEFINITELY SEEING A SOFTENING IN THE ECONOMY. WE DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER YET. WE'RE WATCHING THE REVENUES ON A DAILY BASIS TO DETERMINE -- LAST YEAR WE BUDGETED BASED ON 3.8 PERCENT GROWTH. IT'S BEEN REDUCED TO 3.5. IN MY OPINION, IT'S UNLIKELY THAT WE'LL MEET THAT TARGET; HOWEVER, WE DON'T REALLY HAVE TO LOOK ABOUT DOING CUTS UNTIL WE GET BELOW ABOUT 1.5 PERCENT. SO I THINK THE JURY IS STILL OUT ON THAT. WE'RE WATCHING REVENUES CLOSE. WE HOPE TO GET THROUGH THE 2001 BUDGET WITHOUT ANY CUTS BEING NECESSARY.

Henderson: SENATOR FLYNN, ARE YOU ONE OF THE JURORS THAT'S OUT, OR DO YOU SEE SOME DANGER SIGNS IN THE PRESENT-YEAR'S BUDGET?

Flynn: I SEE SOME CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER SIGNS. WE RECEIVED, TODAY ON OUR DESKS, A REPORT FROM THE REVENUE ESTIMATING CONFERENCE THAT TOLD US THAT THE REAL NUMBERS ARE THAT THE REVENUE GROWTH IS .2 PERCENT. THAT'S A FAR CRY FROM THE 3.5 PERCENT THAT WE ANTICIPATED IT WOULD BE. I SEE A REAL CHALLENGE FOR US IN THE IOWA LEGISLATURE IN TERMS OF OUR ABILITY TO BRING A BUDGET RESOLUTION TOGETHER DURING THE SESSION IN A TIMELY FASHION. I SUPPOSE THAT IS TO SOME EXTENT WHY WE HAVEN'T MOVED FORWARD IN TERMS OF TARGETS. WE'VE BEEN SITTING WAITING, AS SENATOR LAMBERTI SUGGESTED, FOR SOME IDEAS IN TERMS OF WHAT THE FUTURE COURSE MIGHT BE. BUT I'M VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE REPORT THAT WE RECEIVED TODAY THAT SHOWS THAT SALES TAX REVENUE AND INCOME TAX REVENUE, WHICH ACCOUNTS FOR THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF OUR REVENUE CHAIN HERE IN THE STATE, ARE SIGNIFICANTLY DOWN.

Henderson: SENATOR FLYNN JUST MENTIONED TARGETS. THOSE WOULD BE THE NUMBERS WHICH YOU WOULD GIVE OUT WHICH WOULD INDICATE HOW MUCH EACH AREA OF THE STATE BUDGET MIGHT EXPECT IN THE COMING BUDGETING YEAR, WHICH BEGINS ON JULY 1. ARE YOU GOING TO SIT AROUND AND WAIT FOR STATE INCOME TAX RECEIPTS TO START COMING IN, IN MARCH, BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY FINAL DECISIONS? WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT NEXT YEAR WITH ALL THIS UNCERTAINTY?

Lamberti: WELL, THAT'S PART OF THE PROBLEM YOU HAVE BECAUSE OF THE CURRENT YEAR WE ARE IN AFFECTS THE YEAR WE'RE GOING TO BE BUDGETING FOR, SO WE DO HAVE TO KEEP AN EYE ON IT. WE WON'T WAIT THAT LONG. WE'RE LOOKING MAYBE WITHIN A TWO-WEEK PERIOD IN MID FEBRUARY TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT OUR BEST ESTIMATE OF WHERE WE'RE GOING TO BE FOR THE CURRENT YEAR SO THAT WE CAN PLUG THOSE NUMBERS IN TO THE BUDGET AND START WORKING ON TARGETS.

Yepsen: SENATOR LAMBERTI, I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE WE'RE CLEAR FOR OUR VIEWERS. THE STATE IS IN THE MIDDLE OF ITS BUDGET YEAR. IT MAY BE THE START OF THE CALENDAR YEAR, BUT THE FISCAL YEAR ENDS ON JUNE 30TH. SO WHAT YOU'RE SAYING IS THAT IN THE LAST SIX MONTHS OF THE BUDGET YEAR, BETWEEN NOW AND THE 30TH OF JUNE, YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT A DECLINE IN REVENUES THIS YEAR, LET ALONE THE FOLLOWING YEAR.

Lamberti: THAT'S CORRECT, THAT WE WON'T MEET OUR TARGETS FROM LAST YEAR.

Yepsen: HOW DIFFICULT DOES THAT GET FOR YOU TO START CUTTING THE BUDGET THAT YOU'VE ALREADY APPROVED LAST YEAR?

Lamberti: IF WE GET INTO A SITUATION WHERE WE HAVE TO CUT MONEY OUT OF THE CURRENT BUDGET, WE HAVE TO DO IT. JUST LIKE FAMILIES OUT THERE THAT RIGHT NOW ARE MAKING A LOT OF DIFFICULT CHOICES WITH HIGH UTILITY BILLS, THEN THE STATE HAS GOT TO TIGHTEN ITS BELT. I THINK -- WE SEE A SOFTENING IN THE ECONOMY, BUT WE'RE A LONG WAYS AWAY FROM WHAT I WOULD CALL A CRISIS.

Russell: CAN WE EXPECT ACROSS-THE-BOARD CUTS, FOR EXAMPLE?

Lamberti: WELL, I WOULD HOPE TO AVOID ACROSS-THE-BOARD CUTS. AS YOU KNOW, LAST YEAR ONE OF THE FIRST BILLS WE PASSED WAS WHAT WE CALL A DEAPPROPRIATION BILL, WHERE WE WENT INTO THAT YEAR'S BUDGET, CUT A LITTLE BIT OUT, TRIED TO TARGET WHERE WE TOOK THE MONEY. HOPEFULLY, IF REVENUES COME UP A LITTLE BIT, WE WILL BE LOOKING AT TARGETED CUTS, IF WE HAVE TO DO ANY AT ALL.

Russell: HOW WILL TEACHER SALARIES FAIR IN THIS SITUATION WITH FLAT REVENUES? YOU'VE PROMISED TO RAISE TEACHER SALARIES THIS YEAR. RECENTLY YOU'VE BORROWED AN EXPRESSION FROM THE 2000 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN, AND YOUR PARTY SAID THAT YOU HAD SET ASIDE $40 MILLION IN A LOCKBOX FOR TEACHER SALARIES. IS THAT LOCKBOX SECURE?

Lamberti: WELL, I THINK WHAT WE HAVE TO DO IS IDENTIFY WHAT OUR PRIORITIES ARE, AND I THINK CERTAINLY TEACHER COMPENSATION -- BOTH PARTIES AND THE GOVERNOR SEEM TO AGREE THAT TEACHER COMPENSATION IS A PRIORITY. SO THAT IS ONE PRIORITY. WE'VE GOT A COUPLE OTHERS, INCLUDING THE UTILITY TAX REDUCTION, POSSIBLY A PENSION TAX REDUCTION. WHAT WE HAVE TO DO IS PLUG THOSE PRIORITIES IN AND BE WILLING TO MAKE TOUGH CHOICES, AGAIN, JUST LIKE FAMILIES ARE REQUIRED TO DO. IF WE HAVE THE DISCIPLINE TO GET THROUGH A TOUGH YEAR, MAKE THOSE CHOICES, WE CAN STILL FUND OUR PRIORITIES. IT'S STILL OUR INTENTION TO WORK WITH THE GOVERNOR ON THAT ISSUE.

Russell: SO THAT $40 MILLION IS SECURE? IT'S NOT TO BE TOUCHED?

Lamberti: WELL, IT'S INTERESTING THAT SOME OF THE LEADERSHIP I THINK ON THE HOUSE SIDE INDICATED THAT WE HAD AGREED AT $40 MILLION. I GUESS NOBODY ASKED ME. I'M INCLINED TO BELIEVE THAT WE'LL BE IN THAT BALLPARK.

Yepsen: SENATOR LAMBERTI, YOU'RE A GOOD REPUBLICAN AND THE GOVERNOR IS A GOOD DEMOCRAT. WHAT'S YOUR REACTION TO THE BUDGET THAT HE PRESENTED TO YOU?

Lamberti: I HAVE SOME REAL CONCERNS ABOUT THE BUDGET. PRIMARILY WE SEE SOME SHIFTING AND, QUITE FRANKLY, THINGS I WOULD CALL GIMMICKS. NUMBER ONE, THE GOVERNOR WANTS TO MOVE MORE MONEY OUT OF OUR INFRASTRUCTURE FUND INTO THE GENERAL FUND, $70 MILLION. THAT'S GAMBLING REVENUE. AS YOU KNOW, WE'VE GOT GAMBLING REFERENDUMS COMING UP IN ALL OF THE COUNTIES THAT HAVE GAMBLING. THAT'S A FAIRLY UNSTABLE SOURCE OF REVENUE. BY MOVING THAT MONEY INTO THE GENERAL FUND, WE BECOME MORE DEPENDENT ON GAMBLING. SO I THINK THAT'S A MOVE THAT I DON'T LIKE. THE GOVERNOR IS AGAIN PROPOSING TO SHIFT SOME MONEY OUT OF THE ROAD-USE TAX FUND, WHICH IS USED FOR ROADS. WE'D LIKE TO KEEP THAT INTACT. AS I LOOK AT SOME OF THE SHIFTING THAT THE GOVERNOR WANTS TO DO, IT SEEMS TO ME IF HE CAN'T ARTICULATE A GOOD BUDGET REASON OR A GOOD ACCOUNTING REASON FOR MAKING THOSE MOVES, THEN YOU ARE SIMPLY MAKING THOSE MOVES TO INCREASE SPENDING, AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE'RE NOT INTERESTED IN.

Yepsen: SENATOR FLYNN, YOU'RE A GOOD DEMOCRAT. GIMMICKS?

Flynn: I DON'T THINK IT'S SO MUCH GIMMICKS. I THINK THE GOVERNOR'S BUDGET IS THE REALITY CHECK. I THINK HE'S LOOKING AT THE PROBABLE DOWNTURN IN THE ECONOMY. I THINK THE WAY I LOOK AT -- READ HIS BUDGET, THE WAY I INTERPRETED HIS BUDGET -- LET'S PUT IT INTO PERSPECTIVE MAYBE IN TERMS OF DOLLARS, NOT JUST IN TERMS OF PERCENTAGES. THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT .2-PERCENT REVENUE GROWTH RATHER THAN 3.5, AS WE EXPECTED. THAT'S A $170-MILLION SHORTFALL. OUR ENDING BALANCE THAT WE BUDGETED FOR F.Y. 2001 WAS 134.5 MILLION. IF THAT WERE TO BECOME REALITY IN TERMS OF THE F.Y. 2001 BUDGET CYCLE WHICH, AS YOU SUGGESTED, ENDS AT THE END OF JUNE THIS YEAR, THAT MEANS WE'VE WIPED OUT THE ENDING BALANCE. THAT IS A CRITICAL CONCERN HERE FOR THIS STATE. IF WE'RE NOT GOING TO LOOK AT THE PROSPECT OF NEW TAXES AND NO ONE IN THE LEGISLATURE IS CALLING FOR NEW TAX INITIATIVES, THEN WE HAVE TO LOOK AT REALLOCATING THE RESOURCES THAT WE HAVE AVAILABLE TO US. I DON'T THINK IT'S GIMMICKS. I THINK IT'S JUST A REAL WAY OF LOOKING AT THE PROBABILITY OF A DOWNTURN IN THE ECONOMY AND THE WAY IN WHICH THE STATE RESPONSIBLY CAN RESPOND TO THE NEEDS OF IOWANS OUT THERE.

Yepsen: KAY?

Henderson: THE CHAIRMAN OF THE "VISION IOWA" BOARD CAME BEFORE LEGISLATORS THIS PAST WEEK AND PREDICTED THAT THERE WILL BE 25 PROJECTS FROM COMMUNITIES AROUND THE STATE. THEY'RE GOING TO ASK FOR ABOUT $2 BILLION IN STATE FINANCING FOR THEIR LOCAL PROJECTS. THE GROUP ONLY HAS $180 MILLION TO HAND OUT. WILL THE LEGISLATURE THIS YEAR STEP FORWARD AND PROVIDE THEM ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR THOSE COMMUNITY PROJECTS?

Lamberti: I DON'T ANTICIPATE THAT WE'LL ADD ANY MONEY THIS YEAR. WE WANT TO SEE SOME PROJECTS GET APPROVED AND START TO BE BUILT. AS YOU KNOW, EVEN THOUGH THE FINAL PASSAGE IN BOTH CHAMBERS WAS LARGER THAN I ANTICIPATED, IT WAS A VERY DIFFICULT BILL TO WORK ON LAST YEAR. AND I JUST DON'T THINK THAT THERE'S A GENERAL BELIEF THAT THEY WANT TO ADD MONEY TO IT YET UNTIL WE SEE SOMETHING BEING BUILT. THERE ARE WAYS TO STRETCH THAT MONEY, AND I THINK MR. GARDENER REFERENCED THAT BECAUSE ACTUALLY THE APPROPRIATION TO THE "VISION IOWA" BOARD IS 300 MILLION, AND WE INTENTIONALLY MADE THAT FLEXIBLE SO THEY COULD GET CREATIVE WITH THEIR FINANCING. AND I THINK HE INDICATED THEY'RE LOOKING AT THAT. WE SEE THINGS GET BUILT, HOPEFULLY THEY'LL WORK, AND THEN WE CAN CONVINCE OUR COLLEAGUES TO ADD SOME MORE MONEY TO IT. AND WE CAN DO THAT IN A YEAR.

Henderson: SENATOR FLYNN, DO YOU THINK WE NEED A LITTLE START-UP TIME HERE BEFORE THE LEGISLATURE PONIES UP A LITTLE BIT MORE MONEY?

Flynn: WELL, I THINK WHEN WE TALK ABOUT PONYING UP MORE MONEY, WE HAVE TO KEEP IT IN THE CONTEXT OF OUR PRIORITIES. SENATOR LAMBERTI TALKED ABOUT HOW WE ESTABLISH PRIORITIES. THERE IS BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT ON TEACHER PAY. THERE IS BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT ON THE NEEDS THAT WE HAVE TO DO TO PUT KIDS FIRST. FOR EXAMPLE, WITH THE CHILD ABUSE INITIATIVE THAT THE GOVERNOR IS CALLING FOR, THERE ARE A LOT OF SENATORS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE WHO REALLY WANT TO DO SOMETHING IN TERMS OF MORE CASEWORKERS, WHO REALLY WANT TO DO SOMETHING IN TERMS OF OTHER PRIORITIES THAT BOTH OF US, BOTH PARTIES, HEARD ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL LAST FALL. PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING IN THIS STATE TO HELP TO ALLEVIATE THOSE PROBLEMS. WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE TEACHER PAY ISSUE. THOSE ARE ALL HIGH-PRIORITY AND HIGH-CONCERN ITEMS FOR BOTH OF US. I THINK THE DIFFERENCE IS IN TERMS OF STRATEGY, IF YOU WILL, IN TERMS OF THIS START-UP THAT YOU SUGGEST, IS SHOULD WE BE TALKING ABOUT IN THIS FAMILY BUDGET ESTABLISHING WHAT OUR NEEDS ARE AND ALLOCATING THE RESOURCES IN TERMS OF OUR INCOME TOWARDS WHAT WE KNOW AND THAT WE HAVE TO EXPEND FUNDS ON. OR SHOULD WE, AS HAS BEEN THE CASE, AT LEAST IN TERMS OF THE LAST TWO WEEKS WITH THE LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES THAT WE'VE HAD TO VOTE ON BECAUSE THEY'VE BEEN PRESENTED TO US, SHOULD WE BE TALKING PRINCIPALLY ABOUT TAX CUTS? I THINK WE SHOULD PUT THE TAX CUTS AT THE END OF THIS SESSION. LET'S GET THE BUDGET PUT TOGETHER AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS SESSION. LET'S KNOW EXACTLY WHAT WE HAVE IN TERMS OF RESOURCES, AND THEN LET'S PUT SOME DECISIONS TOGETHER IN TERMS OF WHAT WE CAN DO WITH TAX CUTS IF... "IF" THERE'S ANY MONEY LEFT OVER.

Russell: IF WE CAN GET TO SOME SPECIFICS ON THE CHILD ABUSE ISSUE, THE AMERICAN HUMANE ASSOCIATION HAS ANALYZED THE STATE'S CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM, CONCLUDED THAT CASELOADS ARE WAY TOO HIGH. GOVERNOR VILSACK HAS RECOMMENDED 98 NEW SOCIAL WORKERS TO BEGIN THE SOLVE THE PROBLEM. WILL REPUBLICANS FUND THAT REQUEST?

LAMBERTI: I DON'T ANTICIPATE THAT WE WILL FUND IT TO THE FULL EXTENT THAT HE WANTS. I DON'T KNOW THAT WE HAVE TO ABILITY DOLLAR-WISE TO DO THAT, BUT THAT'S ONLY PART OF THE EQUATION. ON THIS ISSUE I SPEAK BOTH AS A SENATOR AND SOMEBODY WHO SERVES IN GOVERNMENT, BUT ALSO AS A PRACTICING ATTORNEY WHO HAS A FAIR AMOUNT OF EXPERIENCE IN JUVENILE COURT. THE SYSTEM IS BROKE. SIMPLY ADDING MORE MONEY AND REDUCING CASELOADS IS NOT GOING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM. THAT'S ONE COMPONENT OF IT BUT, MUCH LIKE THE TEACHER COMPENSATION WHERE YOU'VE GOT TO WORK OUT THE DETAILS OF THE POLICY, WE HAVE TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT'S GOING ON IN OUR CHILD ABUSE SYSTEM ON ALL SIDES, ALL ENDS OF THE SPECTRUM. THERE'S ABUSES THROUGHOUT THE SYSTEM BEFORE WE START JUST PUMPING MORE MONEY INTO THE SYSTEM. THAT'S NOT GOING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

Russell: HOW CAN YOU QUARREL WITH THE EXPERTS WHO WOULD CALL 98 NEW SOCIAL WORKERS "JUST A START"?

Lamberti: WELL, I THINK THERE'S OTHER THINGS THAT YOU CAN DO TOO. WE EMPLOY, WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT HUMAN SERVICES, APPROXIMATELY 5,500 PEOPLE. IT SEEMS TO ME, AS WE TALK ABOUT REALLOCATING OUR RESOURCES AND REALLOCATING TO MEET OUR PRIORITIES, WE CAN DO SOME OF THAT AS WELL. I DON'T DISPUTE THE FACT THAT THE CASELOADS ARE TOO HIGH. I'M NOT SURE JUST ADDING A BUNCH OF NEW BODIES WITHOUT TAKING A LOOK BOTH AT THE POLICY, WHAT ARE WE DOING, AND REALLOCATION WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT. I THINK THOSE ARE THINGS THAT NEED TO BE BROUGHT INTO THAT MIX.

Yepsen: SENATOR, WHAT'S THE DEMOCRATIC VIEW OF THAT ISSUE?

Flynn: CASELOADS ARE DEFINITELY TOO HIGH. WE HAVE INFORMATION IN FRONT OF US THAT SUGGESTS THAT IOWA HAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST CASELOADS PER WORKER. THAT'S A SIGNIFICANT ISSUE. THOSE ARE THE KINDS OF THINGS THAT RESULT IN TRAGEDIES LIKE WE SAW THIS YEAR WITH THE SHELBY DUIS INCIDENT. WE DON'T WANT A REPEAT OF THAT. AND THE WAY TO BE RESPONSIBLE IN TERMS OF ADDRESSING THAT TO PROVIDE THE SOLUTION FOR THAT IS TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO HAVE THE FLEXIBILITY IN TERMS OF THEIR CASELOADS TO BE ABLE TO ADDRESS THE CONCERNS AND NOT JUST SHUFFLE PAPERS.

Yepsen: SENATOR, YOU ARE ON IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. LET ME ASK A QUESTION THAT'S ON THE MIND OF EVERY MEMBER OF OUR CREW TODAY. HOW BIG OF A PAY RAISE ARE STATE WORKERS GOING TO GET? I REALIZE YOU'RE IN NEGOTIATIONS, BUT THERE IS SOME MONEY THAT'S BEEN SET ASIDE. FOR ALL THE STATE WORKERS OUT THERE THAT ARE WATCHING US TODAY, WHAT CAN THEY EXPECT TO GET FOR A PAY RAISE?

Flynn: I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FINAL OUTCOME WILL BE.

Yepsen: 3 PERCENT?

Flynn: WELL, THAT'S A PART OF THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING PROCESS, AS YOU KNOW. AND THAT IS AN EXECUTIVE BRANCH FUNCTION. THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR IMPLEMENTING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING INITIATIVES, AND I'M HOPEFUL THAT WE CAN BE RESPONSIBLE AS AN EMPLOYER WITHIN THE STATE.

Yepsen: SENATOR, WHAT ARE YOU REALLY THINKING YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO COME UP WITH FOR A PAY RAISE?

Lamberti: WELL, I THINK AS WE LOOK, YOU KNOW, BOTH PICKING UP LAST YEAR'S INSURANCE COSTS, EXPECTED INSURANCE INCREASES THAT WE'RE GOING TO SEE IN THE FUTURE, AND JUST THE NEGOTIATED SALARY AND STEP INCREASES ON ALL OF THOSE, UNFORTUNATELY, I THINK WE COULD BE LOOKING SOMEWHERE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF $70- TO $90 MILLION, WHICH I THINK, YOU KNOW, THAT'S SOMETHING WE HAVE TO DO. WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ON STATE SALARIES. SO WHEN WE START TALKING ABOUT PRIORITIES, WE TALK ABOUT TEACHER COMPENSATION, WE START TALKING ABOUT GIVING STATE EMPLOYEES $90 MILLION, IT SEEMS TO ME THAT WE CAN GIVE THE PEOPLE OF IOWA $8.8 MILLION IN A UTILITY TAX BREAK. IT'S PEANUTS COMPARED TO SOME OF THE OTHER PRIORITIES, AND WE CAN DO THOSE PRIORITIES WITHOUT DOING BUDGET GIMMICKS OR ANY OF THAT. WE JUST HAVE TO BE TOUGH. WE HAVE TO MAKE DISCIPLINED DECISIONS AND, JUST LIKE IOWA FAMILIES, DECIDE WHERE WE'RE GOING TO PUT OUR MONEY.

Russell: SENATOR, ONCE THOSE SALARY LEVELS ARE DETERMINED, WHAT'S MAINLY ON THE MINDS OF UNIVERSITY OFFICIALS, PRESIDENTS WERE AT THE STATEHOUSE THIS WEEK ASKING FOR FULL FUNDING OF THE SALARIES IN THE PAST BUDGET CYCLE. SOME MONEY WAS SET ASIDE FOR THE UNIVERSITIES FOR SALARIES, AND THEY HAD TO MAKE UP THE DIFFERENCE FROM THEIR OPERATING BUDGETS. THEY ARGUED VERY STRENUOUSLY THIS WEEK THAT THE SALARIES ARE THE MOST CRITICAL THING FOR ATTRACTING QUALIFIED FACULTY. WILL YOU HONOR THEIR FULL-FUNDING REQUESTS.

Lamberti: I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE VERY DIFFICULT IF WE'RE TALKING ABOUT $90 MILLION. I'LL BE HONEST WITH PEOPLE. IF WE'RE TALKING ABOUT $90 MILLION, IT'S GOING TO BE VERY DIFFICULT TO COME UP WITH FULL FUNDING. OF COURSE, LAST YEAR SOME OF THAT WAS A SIGNIFICANTLY UNDERSTATED AMOUNT FOR THE HEALTH INSURANCE THAT WAS NOT BUILT IN, SO THAT REALLY AFFECTED THE SALARY PACKAGE. BUT THAT NUMBER WILL BE HARD TO ACHIEVE. I'LL BE VERY HONEST WITH THEM.

Henderson: PEOPLE ACROSS THE NATION HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT CHADS AND HANGING CHADS AND PREGNANT CHADS AND ALL THAT KIND OF STUFF; AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S TALKED ABOUT IS AN ELECTION REFORM IS REQUIRING COUNTIES TO BUY NEW MACHINES. AND WE HAVE A NUMBER OF COUNTIES IN IOWA THAT ARE STILL USING PAPER BALLOTS AND NOT THE OPTICAL SCANNER MACHINES THAT ARE USED IN 77 COUNTIES. WOULD THE LEGISLATURE ACT IN THAT AREA, AND DO YOU FORESEE THE STATE PROVIDING COUNTIES ANY MONEY TO HELP THEM PURCHASE THOSE MACHINES?

Lamberti: I THINK IT'S PROBABLY A LITTLE EARLY TO DETERMINE WHERE WE'RE AT. BASED UPON WHAT HAPPENED IN FLORIDA, I KNOW THE STATE GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE AS WELL AS SOME OTHER FOLKS, SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE, ARE TRYING TO DO A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF WHERE ARE WE, BOTH ON OUR ELECTION LAWS, SO WE DON'T GET INTO A FLORIDA SITUATION, SO OUR LAWS ARE CLEAR ABOUT DEADLINES AND SO FORTH. AND THEY'RE TAKING A LOOK AT WHAT IS BEING USED OUT THERE. CERTAINLY THE OPTICAL MACHINES THAT WE'RE USING ARE VERY EFFECTIVE. YOU COULD DO A VERY GOOD RECOUNT OF THOSE, BUT IN SOME CASES SO CAN YOU OF THE PAPER BALLOT. WE NEED TO REVIEW WHERE WE'RE AT BEFORE WE MAKE THOSE DECISIONS.

Yepsen: SENATOR FLYNN, KAY ASKED ABOUT ELECTIONS. THIS IS NEVER AN OFFICIAL "IOWA PRESS" SHOW UNLESS WE TALK A LITTLE POLITICS. ARE YOU GOING TO RUN FOR ANYTHING IN 2002?

Flynn: WELL, I'M UP FOR REELECTION TO MY STATE SENATE SEAT IN 2002. I ENJOY THIS TASK. I ENJOY MY WORK. I CAME INTO THIS BUSINESS. I WAS ELECTED IN 1994.

Yepsen: HOW ABOUT THAT CONGRESSIONAL SEAT IN NORTHWEST -- UP THERE IN DUBUQUE?

Flynn: WELL, THAT CONGRESSIONAL SEAT IS ALWAYS SOMETHING THAT IS VERY ALLURING, AS YOU KNOW. BUT I HAVE A LOT OF WORK YET TO DO IN THE SENATE. I HAVE A NINE-YEAR-OLD SON WHO WAS THREE YEARS OLD WHEN I GOT INTO THIS BUSINESS. I THINK MAKING SURE THAT MY FAMILY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF MY ROLE --

Yepsen: SO JIM NUSSLE DOESN'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT YOU COMING AT HIM; RIGHT? [ LAUGHTER ]

Flynn: NOT TODAY.

Yepsen: SENATOR LAMBERTI, WHAT ABOUT YOU? I'VE HEARD -- EVERYBODY IN THE POLK COUNTY IS RUNNING FOR CONGRESS, IT SEEMS LIKE. WHAT ABOUT YOU? CAN WE PUT YOU DOWN ON THAT LIST?

Lamberti: WELL, TO BE HONEST WITH YOU, I HAVE INDICATED, AND I THINK OPENLY TO PEOPLE, THAT I HAVE NOT MADE A DECISION ON POSSIBLY RUNNING FOR CONGRESS, STAYING IN THE SENATE, RUNNING FOR REELECTION IN THE SENATE OR OTHER OPTIONS. I'M KEEPING MY OPTIONS OPEN AT THIS POINT.

Henderson: WHAT'S MOST ENTICING?

Lamberti: PROBABLY GOVERNOR.

Henderson: WHY?

Lamberti: FOR A LOT OF THE REASONS THAT SENATOR FLYNN MENTIONED. I HAVE A YOUNG FAMILY. MY KIDS ARE 12 AND 7. LOOKING AT A RUN WHERE YOU WOULD BE LOOKING AT SPENDING A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF TIME IN WASHINGTON PROBABLY DOESN'T FIT WITH MY FAMILY, BUT I HAVEN'T RULED THAT OUT EITHER. THAT'S SOMETHING I HAVE TO DISCUSS WITH MY FAMILY.

Flynn: THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING A CITIZEN LEGISLATURE AND BEING IN A PROFESSIONAL GAME. THE DIFFERENCES ARE JUST ASTRONOMIC.

Yepsen: JOYCE, BACK TO THE BUDGET.

Russell: OKAY, BACK TO THE BUDGET. SOMETHING REFERRED TO AS THE ROAD-USE TAX FUND THAT REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS HAVE QUARRELLED ABOUT. REPUBLICANS ARE OBJECTING TO THE GOVERNOR'S USE OF THE SOME OF THE MONEYS IN THE ROAD-USE TAX FUND, WHICH TRADITIONALLY HAVE GONE FOR ROAD BUILDING. WHAT'S SO SACRED ABOUT ROAD-USE TAX DOLLARS, AND HOW ARE WE DOING ON ROADS? ARE WE SPENDING TOO MUCH? ARE WE SPENDING TOO LITTLE?

Lamberti: I THINK PART OF THE ROAD-USE FUND IS SOMEWHAT SACRED BECAUSE IT'S CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED. IT IS IN OUR CONSTITUTION.

Russell: THE GASOLINE TAX.

Lamberti: A PORTION OF IT; NOT ALL OF IT. WHY IT'S PROTECTED IS BECAUSE YOU ALWAYS ARE GOING TO HAVE NEEDS FOR ROADS FOR IMPROVEMENTS, FOR REPAIRS. WE HAVE GOT SOME HELP ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL IN RECENT YEARS WHERE THEY DID INCREASE THE AMOUNT COMING TO US, BUT WE STILL HAVE MORE PROJECTS THAN WE HAVE MONEY. WE'RE IN A DECENT BALANCE RIGHT NOW IN TERMS OF WHAT'S IN THE PLAN AND THE RESOURCES WE HAVE. I THINK IT WOULD BE A MISTAKE TO GO IN AND START SCOOPING MONEY OUT OF THERE FOR OUR GENERAL FUND. WE'VE DONE THAT IN THE PAST WITH THINGS SUCH AS THE HIGHWAY PATROL AND OTHER THINGS. WE ENDED UP HAVING TO MAKE THAT UP, AND I JUST DON'T WANT TO GO DOWN THAT ROAD AGAIN.

Henderson: SPEAKING OF PROJECTS, THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES HAS SUGGESTED THAT THE STATE SHOULD CREATE A DESTINATION PARK. IN THIS TIME OF NAIL BITING OVER HOW TOUGH THE STATE BUDGET IS, IS THERE THE MONEY TO SPEND FOR THAT KIND OF A FACILITY, SENATOR FLYNN?

Flynn: WELL, WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE CAPITOL'S BUDGET. WE'LL TALK ABOUT THE KINDS OF LOCAL PROJECTS THAT WE CAN ACCOMPLISH AS PART OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE BUDGET. I THINK THERE'S AMPLE ROOM FOR, YOU KNOW, OTHER OPPORTUNITIES. LAST YEAR I THINK THE SIGNATURE PIECE OF THAT LEGISLATURE WAS THE "VISION IOWA" LEGISLATION. SENATOR LAMBERTI WAS VERY INVOLVED IN THE "VISION IOWA." THAT PROVIDED A $200-MILLION OPPORTUNITY IN THIS STATE FOR RECREATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF PROJECTS THAT ARE IN PLAY. THERE'S A SCHOOL FUNDING COMPONENT TO THAT. THERE'S OBVIOUSLY THE CULTURAL AND RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES THAT MIGHT RESULT IN MAJOR ATTRACTIONS EITHER IN DES MOINES OR DUBUQUE OR CEDAR RAPIDS OR IOWA CITY CORRIDOR. SO I SEE ROOM IN THE BUDGET FOR CONTINUATION OF THOSE KINDS OF INVESTMENTS IN IOWA'S INFRASTRUCTURE, AND I'M HOPEFUL THAT WE'LL BE ABLE TO ACHIEVE SOME BIPARTISAN RESOLVED IN THAT.

Henderson: SENATOR LAMBERTI, DO YOU AGREE?

Lamberti: TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH, I'M VERY INTERESTED IN THAT PROPOSAL, AND I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK AT IT. A COUPLE THINGS COME TO MIND. FIRST, WE HAVE A PROGRAM WE CALL "RESTORE THE OUTDOORS," WHICH IS FIXING THE BACKLOG OF REPAIRS OF ALL OF OUR STATE PARKS. I THINK WE NEED TO FINISH THAT JOB FIRST BEFORE WE START LOOKING AT A DESTINATION PARK, ALTHOUGH WE COULD DO SOME PLANNING OF MONEY. THE SECOND THING, WE HAVE DONE A LOT OF GOOD THINGS OUT OF OUR INFRASTRUCTURE FUND, WHICH WE HAVE DEVELOPED PRIMARILY THROUGH GAMBLING REVENUES. TO ME, THAT'S ANOTHER REASON NOT TO SHIFT MONEY OUT OF THERE, BECAUSE WE HAVE DONE GOODS THINGS. WE HAVE SEVERAL HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF REPAIRS NEEDED TO STATE BUILDINGS, AND THAT DOESN'T GET INTO ANY OF THE OTHER NEW THINGS THAT WE HAVE DONE. AND TO HAVE THAT FLEXIBILITY TO ADDRESS SOMETHING LIKE A DESTINATION PARK. I THINK IT'S A GOOD IDEA. I THINK IT'S SOMETHING WE'LL GIVE SERIOUS CONSIDERATION TO.

Russell: YOU MENTIONED REPAIRS TO STATE BUILDINGS. THE BUDGET WRITERS HAVE COME UNDER CRITICISM IN THE PAST FOR NOT ADEQUATELY MAINTAINING STATE BUILDINGS. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT "VISION IOWA," WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ALL OF THESE NEW THINGS WHILE WE HAVE CRUMBLING BUILDINGS ALL AROUND US. IF YOU WERE RUNNING A BUSINESS, ESPECIALLY A $5-BILLION BUSINESS, THERE WOULD BE A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF MONEY SET ASIDE, A CERTAIN PERCENTAGE OF MONEY SET ASIDE TO MAINTAIN WHAT YOU HAVE. HOW DO YOU AS KEEPERS OF THE STATE BUDGET JUSTIFY NOT PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE AND ONGOING MAINTENANCE TO STATE BUILDINGS?

Lamberti: FORTUNATELY, WE FINALLY DID START DOWN THE ROAD. WE HAVE TWO FUNDS THAT WE CREATED -- OR TWO LINE ITEMS OUT OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE FUND. ONE FOR MAJOR MAINTENANCE, WHICH ARE THE BIGGER PROJECTS, AND ONE FOR ROUTINE MAINTENANCE. AND LAST YEAR THOSE WERE FUNDED AS SEPARATE ITEMS. WE ARE LOOKING AGAIN AT DOING THAT BECAUSE WE DO HAVE A BACKLOG OF REPAIRS. I THINK WE HAVE TO DEDICATE SOME MONEY TO THOSE.

Flynn: I THINK WE LEARNED A GOOD LESSON IF WE LOOK JUST DOWN THE HALLWAY FROM WHERE WE SIT IN THE SENATE CHAMBER AT THE STATEHOUSE ITSELF, AND LOOK AT THE YEARS OF LACK OF MAINTENANCE AT THE PEOPLE'S HOUSE, AND HOW WE HAD TO RISE TO THE OCCASION OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST SIX YEARS IN DEDICATING FUNDS TO HELP RESTORE THAT BEAUTIFUL PLACE. I THINK THAT AS A LEGISLATURE WE LEARNED A LOT FROM THAT EXPERIENCE AND WE MAY BE ABLE TO FORESTALL FUTURE OCCURRENCES.

Russell: ARE THOSE FUNDS -- IS THAT ENOUGH? IS THAT AN ADEQUATE RESPONSE TO THE PROBLEM, SENATOR LAMBERTI?

Lamberti: I THINK WE'RE HEADING DOWN AN AMOUNT THAT'S ABOUT APPROPRIATE. WE'RE STILL ANTICIPATING, AS YOU HAVE BIG RENOVATIONS AND THINGS LIKE THAT, THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK AT THOSE ON AN ITEM-BY-ITEM BASIS, SO IT'S NOT THE ONLY SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR THOSE TYPE OF REPAIRS.

Henderson: SENATOR FLYNN MENTIONED THE PEOPLE'S HOUSE. THEY'VE GOT A BUNCH OF JAILHOUSES AROUND THE STATE, AND THEY'RE BURSTING AT THE SEAMS WITH PRISONERS. STATE PRISON OFFICIALS SAY YOU NEED A LITTLE BIT MORE SPACE. WILL YOU BUILD MORE PRISON SPACE IN THE COMING YEAR?

Lamberti: NOT THIS YEAR. AND I THINK WE'VE HAD GENERAL CONSENSUS THAT IT WOULDN'T BE NEEDED THIS YEAR. HOPEFULLY WHAT WE CAN FOCUS ON -- AND IT'S GOING TO BE DIFFICULT IN A TIGHT BUDGET YEAR -- IS WHAT WE'VE DONE THE LAST COUPLE YEARS, MORE COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS. WE'RE LOOKING AT SOME EXTENSIVE DRUG TREATMENT ALTERNATIVES, FOCUSED AT PEOPLE WHO WOULD OTHERWISE GO TO PRISON, AS A WAY TO START DIVERTING MORE OF THOSE. SO WE'RE TRYING TO TAKE SOME ACTIONS UP FRONT BEFORE WE GET TO THAT. WILL IT PREVENT US FROM HAVING TO BUILD ANOTHER PRISON IN THE FUTURE? I WOULDN'T GO THAT FAR, BUT I THINK WE DON'T NEED IT IN THIS COMING BUDGET YEAR.

Yepsen: SENATOR LAMBERTI, YOU HAVE TO DO ALLOWABLE GROWTH THIS YEAR, DO YOU NOT?

Lamberti: CORRECT.

Yepsen: WHAT'S THE LEGISLATURE GOING TO GIVE? I THINK THE GOVERNOR HAS ASKED FOR, WHAT, 4 PERCENT? WHAT WILL THE LEGISLATURE WIND UP GIVING SCHOOLS FOR WHAT'S CALLED ALLOWABLE GROWTH? IT'S THE REGULAR PROGRAM BUDGETS OF LOCAL SCHOOLS?

Lamberti: WELL, THERE'S BEEN A COUPLE OF WAYS OF LOOKING AT THAT AND, OF COURSE, WE'LL BE SETTING IT OUT EVEN ONE MORE YEAR IN ADVANCE BECAUSE WE'VE CHANGED THE LAW NOW, SO WE'RE NOT DOING IT UNDER SUCH A DEADLINE. SOME PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED WITH THE FACT THAT WE'RE SETTING ASIDE $40 MILLION FOR TEACHER COMPENSATION AND THAT MAYBE WE OUGHT TO REDUCE THAT ALLOWABLE GROWTH NUMBER. WE ARE AT 4 PERCENT. THERE'S SCHOOL DISTRICTS OUT THERE THAT ARE DOING BUDGETING FOR THE COMING YEAR. SOME WOULD LIKE TO DO TWO-YEAR CONTRACTS. MY GUESS IS, IF I HAD TO GUESS, THAT WE WOULD BE SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 3.5 AND 4. SO WE'LL BE GENERALLY IN THAT BALLPARK.

Yepsen: SENATOR FLYNN, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Flynn: I'M HOPEFUL WE CAN GO WITH THE GOVERNOR'S PROPOSAL OF 4 PERCENT. WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME AS SENATORS IN OUR DISTRICTS. THAT'S THE WHOLE THEORY OF THE CITIZEN LEGISLATURE CONCEPT. I TAKE A BIG PORTION OF THAT TIME AND SPEND IT IN THE SCHOOLS. I TALK TO TEACHERS. I TALK TO SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS. I TALK TO A VARIETY OF THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE A REAL STAKE IN WHAT WE CAN DO WITH ALLOWABLE GROWTH. THE TWO-YEAR CYCLE ON ALLOWABLE GROWTH IS A TREMENDOUS IMPROVEMENT, BUT WE NEED TO DEDICATE THE NECESSARY FUNDS. FOUR PERCENT IS THE RIGHT NUMBER.

Henderson: GENTLEMEN, JUST TO BE CLEAR, 4 PERCENT EQUALS $60 MILLION; IS THAT CORRECT?

Lamberti: SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 57 AND 60 MILLION. IT DOES FLUCTUATE BASED ON ENROLLMENT.

Yepsen: SENATOR LAMBERTI, WE'VE GOT LESS THAN A MINUTE LEFT. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS TALKING ABOUT A TAX CUT. IT'S JUST A QUESTION OF SIZE. IF THEY DO THAT, THAT'S GOING TO MEAN A WINDFALL TO THE STATE BECAUSE WE HAVE FEDERAL DEDUCTABILITY. IT WILL CREATE MORE STATE TAXABLE INCOME. WILL THE LEGISLATURE CAPTURE THAT MONEY FROM TAXPAYERS, OR WILL YOU PASS A LAW TO GIVE IT BACK.

Lamberti: I THINK WHEN WE COME IN, AND THIS WOULD BE NEXT YEAR, I THINK ANYTHING THAT WOULD GO INTO EFFECT IS NOT GOING TO AFFECT US IN THIS BUDGET YEAR. WHEN WE COME BACK IN NEXT YEAR, I THINK IT'S SOMETHING WE HAVE TO TAKE A LOOK AT: WHAT HAS CONGRESS DONE AND DO WE NEED TO GIVE THAT BACK TO THE PEOPLE.

Yepsen: SENATOR?

Flynn: WELL, WE'VE TALKED A LOT ABOUT THE IMPACT OF THE FEDERAL DEDUCTABILITY ISSUE AND MAKING OUR TAX SYSTEM SIMPLER. WE'RE NOT THERE YET IN TERMS OF OUR RESOLVE IN BEING ABLE TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN. I WOULD AGREE WITH SENATOR LAMBERTI. I DON'T SEE ANY INITIATIVES THIS YEAR. IT IS STILL A PRIORITY FOR MANY OF US. WE WANT SIMPLIFICATION OF THE TAX SCHEDULE, AND WE WANT TO SEE IF WE CAN'T MAKE IT FAIR FOR EVERYBODY.

Yepsen: I HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE. THANK YOU BOTH FOR BEING WITH US TODAY. WE APPRECIATE THAT. ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF IOWA PRESS, OUR SPOTLIGHT REMAINS ON THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION OF 2001, AND OUR FOCUS IS ON EDUCATION. REPRESENTATIVES BETTY GRUNDBERG OF DES MOINES AND MARY MASCHER OF IOWA CITY JOIN US TO DISCUSS INITIATIVES IN FRONT OF THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE IN THE IOWA HOUSE. THAT'S NEXT SUNDAY AT NOON AND 7:00. NOW, WE CLOSE THIS WITH THIS PROGRAM REMINDER: AT 8 P.M. NEXT SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11, IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION CONTINUES TO LOOK INTO IMPORTANT EDUCATION ISSUES. PRESENTING AN EDUCATION 90-MINUTE SPECIAL, THE ON-AIR SYMPOSIUM IS HOSTED BY GEORGE DRAKE, FORMER PRESIDENT OF GRINNELL COLLEGE, AND IT'S TITLED WHO WILL TEACH IOWA'S CHILDREN? IT WILL FOCUS ON PROBLEMS AND POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS IN IOWA'S K-THROUGH-12 SYSTEM. THAT'S NEXT SUNDAY AT 8:00 P.M. THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF IOWA PRESS. I'M DAVID YEPSEN OF. THE DES MOINES REGISTER THANKS FOR JOINING US HERE ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION.

Narrator: FUNDING FOR IOWA PRESS HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY FRIENDS OF IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION; AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; 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; AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA... THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE.