Home

Iowa Press Transcripts

Iowa Press Links

DAVID YEPSEN, KAY HENDERSON, MIKE GLOVER,
AND KATHIE OBRADOVICH

(#3037)

May 2, 2003

IOWA PRESS #3037 >>

Borg: THE FIRST SESSION OF IOWA'S 80TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY ENDED THIS WEEK, BUT THERE'S A GOOD CHANCE LEGISLATORS WILL BE CALLED BACK. INSIGHT FROM IOWA STATEHOUSE REPORTERS ON THIS EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS."

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY "FRIENDS," THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION... GENERATIONS OF FAMILIES AND FRIENDS WHO FEEL PASSIONATE ABOUT THE PROGRAMS THEY WATCH ON IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION.

AND 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, MAY 2 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: IOWA'S 2003 LEGISLATIVE SESSION ENDED ON THE 109TH DAY OF ITS SCHEDULED 110-DAY RUN. ON THE FACE OF IT, IT MIGHT BE CONSIDERED AN ACCOMPLISHMENT TO HIT THE ROAD RIGHT ON TIME. AND CRAFTING A STATE BUDGET IN THE FACE OF ANEMIC STATE REVENUES MIGHT ALSO BE CONSIDERED AN ACHIEVEMENT. BUT SOMETIMES SUCCESS, OR THE LACK OF IT, IS GAUGED BY WHAT IS NOT DONE RATHER THAN WHAT WAS ACCOMPLISHED. AND MANY OF IOWA'S 150 ELECTED SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES ARE LEAVING THE IOWA STATEHOUSE UNHAPPY WITH THE CONTENTIOUS FINAL WEEK, WHERE BATTLE LINES WERE UNCOMPROMISINGLY HELD ON A NUMBER OF KEY ISSUES. LATE-SESSION STANDOFFS FOUND THE MINORITY DEMOCRATS AND THE MAJORITY REPUBLICANS SQUARING OFF, THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH STARING DOWN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, BOTH OF WHICH MIGHT BE EXPECTED. BUT ALSO, REPUBLICAN LEADERS IN THE SENATE AT ODDS WITH THEIR REPUBLICAN COUNTERPARTS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. WELL, HERE TO HELP US WITH THE SCORECARD: "DES MOINES REGISTER" POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN, "RADIO IOWA" NEWS DIRECTOR KAY HENDERSON, "ASSOCIATED PRESS" SENIOR LEGISLATIVE REPORTER MIKE GLOVER, AND "LEE NEWSPAPERS" DES MOINES BUREAU CHIEF KATHIE OBRADOVICH. KATHIE, I KNOW THAT THE FINAL THINGS THAT HAPPENED, HAPPENED THURSDAY NIGHT. SO WE NEED AN UPDATE ON JUST WHAT DID OCCUR.

Obradovich: YOU MIGHT SAY, DEAN, THAT THE SENATE RAN OUT OF TRACK BEFORE THEY GOT TO THE STATION. THEY HAD A NUMBER OF MAJOR ISSUES ON THEIR PLATE THAT HAD BEEN SENT OVER THE HOUSE, INCLUDING SOME TAX REFORM ISSUES AND THE GOVERNOR'S IOWA VALUES FUND, WHICH WAS HIS TOP PRIORITY OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION. AND REALLY WHAT HAPPENED WAS, IN THE SENATE, THEY COULD NOT AGREE TO DO ANYTHING. I'M SURPRISED THEY GOT ENOUGH VOTES TO EVEN ADJOURN. THEY WERE PRACTICALLY PARALYZED.

Henderson: IT TOOK THEM TEN MINUTES.

Obradovich: YEAH. BEFORE THEY WERE EVEN OUT THE DOOR, THE GOVERNOR SAID HE WAS GOING TO CALL THEM BACK.

Glover: I THINK --

Borg: DOES THAT MEAN -- GO AHEAD, MIKE.

Glover: YES, THAT MEANS THERE'S GOING TO BE A SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION. THE GOVERNOR HAS SAID, "I'M GOING TO CALL THEM BACK." AND WHEN -- TO BE FAIR, LEGISLATIVE LEADERS -- SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADERS WENT DOWN TO THE GOVERNOR AND THEY SAID THAT THEY WERE UNABLE TO AGREE ON THESE ISSUES, AND THEY SAID AT THE TIME, "WE UNDERSTAND THIS MEANS THAT WE'RE GOING TO COME BACK FOR A SPECIAL SESSION AND THAT'S FINE." IN ESSENCE, WHAT THEY WANTED TO DO WAS TAKE A LITTLE TIME OFF, LET SOME PEOPLE COOL DOWN, AND THEN TRY TO SIT DOWN AND WORK THROUGH SOME OF THESE THINGS IN A LESS CONTENTIOUS ATMOSPHERE. THE POINT YOU MADE EARLIER WAS THAT EVERYBODY WAS FIGHTING WITH EVERYBODY. THERE WAS SIMPLY NO PROGRESS BEING MADE ON ANYTHING AND NOTHING LIKELY TO HAVE PROGRESS ON IT BECAUSE THEY WERE JUST AT LOGGERHEADS.

Borg: WELL, KAY, ON THE FACE OF IT, YOU MIGHT SAY WHY NOT JUST STAY IN SESSION? WHY CALL A SPECIAL SESSION SOMEPLACE DOWN THE ROAD, GET EVERYBODY BACK IN TOWN WHEN THEY'VE GOT SUMMER PLANS?

Henderson: WELL, OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS, SPECIAL SESSIONS HAVE BECOME A HABIT FOR THESE FOLKS. THEY'VE DONE IT BEFORE AND THEY HAVE A FORMULA NOW. TO SOME EXTENT, THEY UNDERESTIMATED GOVERNOR VILSACK WHEN HE WAS FIRST ELECTED TO OFFICE AND HE DID CALL THEM BACK INTO SPECIAL SESSION. IN THIS LAST SESSION -- REGULAR SESSION, WHAT HAPPENED WAS THE GOVERNOR AND HOUSE REPUBLICANS SORT OF CAME TO AN AGREEMENT ON THEIR AGENDA ITEMS AND SENATE REPUBLICANS FOUND THEMSELVES SORT OF BACKED INTO A CORNER AND THEY HAD NOWHERE TO GO. AND SO SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADERS SUGGESTED THAT IT WAS TIME TO TAKE A BREATHER, LET TEMPERS COOL; WHILE AT THE SAME TIME SAYING THAT WE HAVE SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADERS IS A LITTLE BIT MISLEADING BECAUSE THEY CAN'T APPEAR TO LEAD THEIR GROUP ANYWHERE.

Yepsen: THERE'S A REAL FEAR THAT BY TAKING TIME OUT FOR A SPECIAL SESSION, DEAN, THEY'RE GOING TO ALLOW THE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS TO PICK AWAY AT ANY DEAL THEY REACH. BUT, DEAN, YOU OUGHT TO THINK OF THE LEGISLATURE AS A DAY-CARE CENTER, AND EVERYBODY IS IN TIME-OUT RIGHT NOW. AND THERE ARE FOUR DEALS GOING ON OUT THERE: THE VALUES FUND, THAT THE GOVERNOR WANTS; AN INCOME TAX REFORM BILL; A PROPERTY TAX REFORM BILL; AND A BILL TO CHANGE BUSINESS REGULATIONS. VILSACK WANTS THE VALUES FUND. THE REPUBLICANS SAY, "WELL, YOU CAN'T JUST FIX THE ECONOMY WITH THAT, GOVERNOR; WE'VE GOT TO HAVE SOME OF OUR DEALS TOO." IN ANY NORMAL SESSION, ANY ONE OF THOSE THINGS WOULD BE HUGE. THEY BIT OFF AN AWFUL LOT WHEN THEY TOOK ON ALL FOUR. AND MOST OF THE TIME IN IOWA POLITICS, IDEAS LIKE THAT HAVE A TWO- OR THREE-YEAR GESTATION PERIOD. STUFF COOKS FOR A WHILE. SO THEY WERE TRYING TO DO AN AWFUL LOT IN A RELATIVELY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.

Borg: AND WE KEPT SAYING THAT. WE'D HAVE LEGISLATIVE LEADERS AND THE GOVERNOR OUT HERE FROM TIME TO TIME, AND WE'D SAY, "YOU'VE GOT A LOT ON YOUR PLATE." AND THEY'D SAY, "YES, BUT WE'RE MAKING PROGRESS." I REMEMBER DICK MYERS, THE MINORITY LEADER IN THE HOUSE, SAY, "I HAVE CONFIDENCE WE'RE GOING TO GET THIS DONE BECAUSE THIS IS THE WAY GOOD LEGISLATION IS CRAFTED." WHAT HAPPENED?

Glover: IF YOU STEP BACK AND LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE, THIS LEGISLATURE CAME INTO THIS SESSION FACING ABOUT A $400-MILLION BUDGET SHORTFALL, AND THEY HAD PLEDGED TO COVER THAT BUDGET SHORTFALL WITHOUT RAISING TAXES. THEY, BY ALL ARGUMENTS, ACCOMPLISHED THAT. THAT WOULD BE A PRETTY GOOD ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR MOST LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS. BUT THIS GROUP -- AND THEY DID IT TO THEMSELVES -- THEY SET THEIR OWN STANDARDS VERY HIGH. THEY SAID FROM THE BEGINNING SIMPLY BALANCING THE BUDGET IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. THIS IS A ONE-YEAR WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY. IT'S NOT AN ELECTION YEAR. THE GOVERNOR JUST GOT REELECTED. REPUBLICANS JUST GOT REELECTED AS THE MAJORITY PARTY. AND BEFORE NEXT YEAR'S LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS STARTS, THIS IS THE YEAR TO GET THINGS DONE, SO LET'S DO BIG THINGS. LET'S FIX THE PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM. LET'S FIX THE INCOME TAX SYSTEM. LET'S CREATE A BRAND-NEW, HUGE FUND TO HELP START THE ECONOMY. AND, YEAH, LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THE BUSINESS REGULATIONS AND SEE WHAT WE'RE DOING RIGHT AND WHAT WE'RE DOING WRONG. THE REMARKABLE THING FOR ME IS THEY CAME PRETTY CLOSE TO GETTING THAT DONE. IN FACT, ALL FOUR OF THOSE ELEMENTS PASSED THE HOUSE IN A FORM THAT I THINK VILSACK WOULD HAVE SIGNED.

Yepsen: AND EVEN THOUGH THERE'S STILL DISAGREEMENT, EVERY DAY THEY WERE MOVING CLOSER AND CLOSER TOGETHER INCH BY INCH. THAT'S WHY SOME PEOPLE WANTED TO STAY AND TOUGH IT OUT, BUT I THINK THAT WAS JUST PICKING AT THE SCAB AT THAT POINT. I THINK THEY'RE STILL MOVING AND THEY'LL HAVE SOME TIME FOR LEADERS TO BACK UP AND GET SOME REST AND KEEP MOVING THE BALL TOGETHER.

Obradovich: THE OTHER THING IS, WITH SOME OF THESE ISSUES, THERE STILL WOULD BE A TWO- OR THREE-YEAR GESTATION PERIOD WITH THE TAX REFORM THE WAY THOSE BILLS WERE SET UP. THIS WOULD BE SORT OF A SETTING THE PROCESS IN MOTION OR STEPPING OFF A CLIFF, AS SOME PEOPLE MIGHT VIEW IT. BUT BOTH PROPERTY TAX AND INCOME TAX, A LOT OF THE DETAILS WERE GOING TO HAVE TO BE WORKED OUT. EITHER THEY WERE SETTING UP BOARDS; THEY WERE LEAVING DETAILS TO FUTURE LEGISLATURES. PART OF THE REASON THEY DID THAT WAS (A) BECAUSE THEY KNEW THEY DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO ANSWER ALL THE QUESTIONS THIS YEAR AND (B) THEY WANTED TO GIVE THE PUBLIC TIME TO ABSORB IT. IN THE INCOME TAX BILL, THE PUBLIC WOULD HAVE ACTUALLY HAD TO VOTE ON A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BEFORE IF WOULD TAKE EFFECT, AND SO THEY WERE THROWING THIS OUT REALLY TO THE PEOPLE OF IOWA TO SAY, "DO YOU WANT THIS OR NOT?" SOME OF THE -- SOME OF THOSE POINTS THAT THIS ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN RIGHT AWAY DIDN'T QUITE MAKE IT THROUGH THE SENATE.

Glover: IF YOU STOP AND THINK ABOUT IT, THERE WERE SOME PEOPLE WHO ARGUABLY CHALLENGED SOME BASIC ASSUMPTIONS. YOU HAD SOME REPUBLICANS WHO SAID, "OKAY, WE'RE WILLING TO LOOK AT THE INCOME TAX SYSTEM AND THINK ABOUT GETTING RID OF FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY, AN ICON OF REPUBLICAN FAITH FOREVER, AND WE'LL USE THE MONEY TO PLOW IT BACK IN TO LOWERING RATES AND GIVING PEOPLE A TAX CUT." THE WORRY HAS ALWAYS BEEN, IF YOU ELIMINATE DEDUCTIBILITY, GRADUALLY THE RATES WILL START INCREASING OVER TIME. SO THEY SAY TO COUPLE IT, WE'LL ADD THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT THAT KATHIE TALKS ABOUT TO MAKE IT VERY, VERY DIFFICULT TO RAISE THOSE RATES. SO THAT'S THE BALANCE. YOU HAVE A TRIAL LAWYER, DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR NEGOTIATING WITH A REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE OVER LIMITING PEOPLE'S ABILITY TO SUE. AND I THINK BY THE TIME THEY GOT DONE, HE WOULD HAVE SIGNED THAT BILL, SOME OF WHICH HE'S VETOED BEFORE. I THINK YOU HAVE TO GIVE SOME PEOPLE CREDIT FOR GOING PLACES THEY HADN'T BEEN BEFORE.

Borg: THEN THE VALUES FUND, KAY. IT WENT ALL THE WAY FROM -- I THINK THE GOVERNOR PROPOSED $500 MILLION IN HIS SPEECH IN JANUARY, AND THE FARM BUREAU CAME BACK AND SAID LET'S MAKE IT A BILLION, DIDN'T THEY?

Henderson: TWO BILLION.

Borg: TWO BILLION, ALL RIGHT. BUT ENDED UP WITH NOTHING.

Henderson: RIGHT. BUT THE HOUSE HAS PASSED A VALUES FUND THAT WOULD BE $810 MILLION. SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WERE DRIVING THIS, WE HAD A NORTHWEST IOWA BUSINESS CALLED TRANS OVA THAT CAME TO THIS STATE HAT AND HAND AND SAID, "WE NEED SOME MONEY TO STAY HERE." YOU HAVE SCHOOL DISTRICTS AROUND THE STATE THAT HAVE THREATENED TO SUE THE STATE AND HAVE SUED THE STATE REGARDING THE WAY THAT SMALL SCHOOLS IN RURAL AREAS ARE NOT ABLE TO IMPROVE THEIR SCHOOLS BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX MONEY, WHICH IS BEING COLLECTED IN URBAN AREAS. PART OF THAT -- A HUGE CHUNK OF THAT, $300 MILLION, IS HELPING THOSE SCHOOL DISTRICTS REFURBISH AND BUILD NEW SCHOOL BUILDINGS.

Borg: AND THAT'S PART OF THE VALUES FUND.

Henderson: AND THAT'S PART OF THE VALUES FUND. AND ONE FUNCTION OF LEGISLATORS GOING AWAY AND GOING HOME IS THAT THEIR LOCAL SCHOOL FOLK ARE GOING TO BE PIGEONHOLING THEM AND TELLING THEM WE NEED PART OF THIS -- "WE NEED THIS CHUNK OF CHANGE TO HELP OUR LOCAL SCHOOLS."

Yepsen: I THINK THE VALUES FUND BUILDS ON SOMETHING MIKE WAS TALKING ABOUT, AND THAT IS THE IDEA OF PEOPLE DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY. THERE'S A REALIZATION IN IOWA THAT WHATEVER WE'VE BEEN DOING HASN'T REALLY BEEN ENOUGH AND THAT OUR STATE ISN'T GROWING THE WAY WE WANT IT TO. WE SAW THAT IN GOVERNOR VILSACK TRYING TO DO SOMETHING ON BUSINESS REGULATIONS. YOU SAW THAT WITH LEADERS, AS MIKE MENTIONED, GOING AGAINST FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY. AND YOU'RE SEEING IT WITH THE LEGISLATURE ON THIS VALUES FUND. MY GOODNESS, THE GOVERNOR IS ASKING A REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE TO BORROW A BUNCH OF MONEY SO THE GOVERNMENT, IN SOME WAYS, CAN PICK WINNERS AND LOSERS INVESTING IN VARIOUS BUSINESSES. I MEAN TO ME, THAT IS AN INCREDIBLE CHANGE OF HEART FOR MANY LEGISLATORS, AND YET 79 MEMBERS OF THE IOWA HOUSE SAID YEAH. AND I THINK THAT ALL FITS UNDER THE RUBRIC OF POLICYMAKERS WHO'VE BEEN REALLY SOBERED BY VOTERS WHO SAY GET SOMETHING DONE, HAVE COME TO DES MOINES TO DUPE THINGS DIFFERENTLY, AND SO THEY'RE GOING DOWN THIS PATH OF TRYING TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY.

Glover: AND WHAT THEY HAVE IS THEY HAVE A VERY SMALL GROUP -- LET'S BE HONEST -- IN THE SENATE OF PEOPLE WHO JUST DON'T WANT TO DO ANYTHING.

Yepsen: MOSSBACKS.

Glover: AND THEY ARE ALL A BUNCH OF OLD MOSSBACKS WHO DON'T WANT TO DO ANYTHING. AND THEY FIGURED SOMETHING OUT: IF THEY CAN KILL ALL THIS STUFF THIS YEAR, THEY CAN KILL IT FOR A LONG TIME. THIS IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT YEAR. IT'S NOT GOING TO SIT AROUND FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS AND GESTATE AND WAIT. IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN THIS YEAR OR IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN AT ALL, BECAUSE NEXT YEAR IS A LEGISLATIVE ELECTION AND A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. AS SOON AS WE HAVE THAT, THEN WE'RE BACK INTO THE NEXT GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION CYCLE.

Yepsen: IN FAIRNESS TO THE MOSSBACKS IN THE SENATE, I TALKED TO SEVERAL OF THEM ON THE CLOSING DAY AND, YOU KNOW, THEY WANT TO CUT SOME DEALS TOO HERE. I MEAN SENATORS ARE GREAT FOR GETTING -- THEY GET THEIR LITTLE DEAL AND THEIR LITTLE TWEAK AND THEIR LITTLE NUANCE IN THE BILL, AND SO I THINK THERE IS SOME HOPE TO BRING SOME OF THOSE PEOPLE ALONG IN A SPECIAL SESSION.

Borg: BEFORE WE LEAVE WHAT DID NOT GET DONE IN MAJOR LEGISLATION AND TRADING MATERIAL THAT -- YOU'VE MENTIONED THE BUSINESS REGULATIONS, AND I THINK YOU'RE REFERRING TO WHAT STARTED OUT AS A PACKAGE, I THINK, OF 28 ITEMS THAT WOULD SOMEHOW CHANGE THE EXISTING LAW IN THE WAY THAT EMPLOYERS RELATE TO THEIR EMPLOYEES.

Obradovich: THIS WAS SORT OF A CHRISTMAS TREE OF REPUBLICAN-PROPOSED AND BUSINESS-FRIENDLY REGULATIONS. IT RAN EVERYWHERE FROM THE GAMUT OF TORT REFORM TO CHANGING WORKERS COMPENSATION LAWS, CHANGING UNEMPLOYMENT LAWS, INCREASING FEES IN THE BANKING BUSINESS. I MEAN THIS WAS JUST A CATCHALL, BIG, SORT OF A REPUBLICAN CHRISTMAS TREE, AND DEMOCRATS WENT BALLISTIC WHEN THEY FIRST STARTED DEBATING THIS, SAID NO WAY. BUT THEY PASSED IT IN THE SENATE, AND THEN THE HOUSE STARTED WHITTLING DOWN THE LIST AND WHITTLING IT DOWN AND FOUND ABOUT FOUR THINGS THAT VILSACK SAID, "YEAH, MAYBE I CAN SIGN THIS." AND FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE PEOPLE IN THE HOUSE, FOUR THINGS THAT ARE BUSINESS-FRIENDLY IS BETTER THAN NOTHING. THE SENATE MAY NOT THINK FOUR THINGS IS ENOUGH BUT, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT THEY GOT THAT TO THE POINT WHERE IT'S WITHIN THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY THAT THEY CAN DO THOSE THINGS.

Glover: I THINK THIS GETS BACK TO SOMETHING YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT EARLIER, IS THAT I THINK YOU HAD A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR WHO JUST GOT REELECTED CLEARLY COMFORTABLY WHO LOOKED AROUND AND SAID, "OKAY, THIS IS MY YEAR TO GET A LEGACY BILL. I'VE GOT A REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE. HOW AM I GOING TO DO THAT? I WANT THIS, THIS VALUES FUND. WELL, MAYBE I HAVE TO GIVE THEM SOMETHING." SO HE STARTED GIVING A LITTLE BIT ON BUSINESS REGULATIONS, GOING AGAINST HIS POLITICAL BASE, STARTED GIVING A LITTLE BIT AND LOOKING AT SOME OF THESE INCOME TAX REVISIONS THAT ARE TAX CUTS. AND HE HAD A COUPLE OF FAIRLY SAVVY LEGISLATORS. I'LL GIVE THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, CHRIS RANTS, SOME CREDIT. HE'S GROWN A LOT IN THE JOB AND MATURED A LOT. AND HE WAS SITTING THERE SAYING, "OKAY, I'VE GOT A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR WHO JUST GOT REELECTED. I WANT TO DO THINGS LIKE TAX CUTS. HOW CAN I GET THAT? HE'S GOT A VETO PEN. WELL, MAYBE I CAN GIVE HIM A LITTLE SOMETHING HE WANTS." THERE'S A LITTLE HORSE TRADING GOING ON.

Henderson: AND THE OTHER THING VILSACK WANTS, VILSACK WANTS A SIMPLIFIED INCOME TAX. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IOWANS COMPLAIN ABOUT IS THEIR TAXES ARE TOO COMPLICATED. ONE OF THE THINGS HE'S TALKED ABOUT IS A POSTCARD RETURN, WHICH IOWANS COULD DO THEMSELVES, SAVING THEM THE COST OF GOING TO AN ACCOUNTANT OR A CPA TO FILL OUT THEIR INCOME TAX FORM. AND I THINK THAT WOULD BE, IN HIS MIND, A HUGE LEGACY TO LEAVE BEHIND, IF HE TRULY DID SIMPLIFY IOWA'S INCOME TAX SYSTEM.

Borg: DO I HEAR YOU SAYING -- DAVE, I WANT TO HEAR WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY.

Yepsen: WELL, POLITICAL LEADERSHIP MOVES EVERYBODY TO THE CENTER. I SAW TERRY BRANSTAD MOVE FROM A VERY CONSERVATIVE GUY TO BEING MUCH MORE OF A CENTRIST. THE SAME THING IS NOW HAPPENING TO TOM VILSACK. IT'S HAPPENING TO A LOT OF LEGISLATIVE LEADERS. IT'S INTERESTING A LOT OF RURAL REPUBLICANS WHO FINALLY SIGN ON BOARD TO SOME OF THESE IDEAS. WHY IS THAT? YOU TALK TO THEM AND THEY JUST ALMOST GET TEARS IN THEIR EYES AS THEY DESCRIBE WHAT'S GOING ON IN THEIR RURAL COMMUNITIES. SO I THINK THEY'RE WILLING TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY.

Borg: DO I HEAR YOU SAYING THAT IF THE SPECIAL SESSION, WHICH YOU SAY IS CERTAINLY -- IS CALLED, THAT REALLY THIS MAJOR LEGISLATION HAS BEEN MOVED TO A POINT WHERE IT MIGHT STILL GO AND IT COULD BE A LANDMARK YEAR?

Yepsen: ABSOLUTELY. NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.

Glover: THERE'S A VERY REAL POSSIBILITY. BUT I THINK WE NEED TO HASTEN TO ADD HERE THAT THAT PROBABLY WON'T BE ALL THAT'S ON THEIR AGENDA. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OTHER THINGS THAT THEY'LL HAVE TO DEAL WITH. THERE WAS A PROBLEM, AS YOU'LL RECALL, WITH THE STATE'S -- THE WAY THE STATE TAXES CASINOS. THE IOWA SUPREME COURT STRUCK THAT DOWN AND PUNCHED ABOUT A $150-MILLION HOLE IN THE STATE'S BUDGET BY ORDERING LOWER TAX RATES FOR ALL THE CASINOS, AND THAT CASE IS NOW BEFORE THE U.S. SUPREME COURT. THERE WAS A COMPROMISE DEVELOPED THAT PASSED THE HOUSE 94 TO 3, I THINK, THAT WASN'T TAKEN UP IN THE SENATE. THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT OF PRESSURE TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO GET THAT PASSED BECAUSE THAT PLUGS A BIG HOLE IN THE STATE'S BUDGET.

Obradovich: THE GOVERNOR HAS ALSO FOUND A FEW ISSUES THAT HE WANTS TO ADD TO THE SPECIAL SESSION TABLE. HE SAYS THAT THE LEGISLATURE CAME IN ABOUT $17 MILLION SHORT ON SALARIES FOR STATE EMPLOYEES. HE WANTED ABOUT 42 MILLION. THE LEGISLATURE APPROVED 28, SO THE GOVERNOR STARTED OFF BY STARTING TO SAY THAT MAYBE NOT ALL THE BUDGET THINGS WERE THE WAY HE WANTED THEM.

Yepsen: THERE'S REALLY NOTHING WRONG WITH ADDING THINGS TO THE MIX IF IT HELPS YOU GET THE DEALS DONE. IF THEY MAKE GOOD PUBLIC POLICY, DEAN, THE PEOPLE OF IOWA -- IF THEY DO ALL THESE THINGS, THEY'RE GOING TO GET THEIR MONEY'S WORTH OUT OF THIS SPECIAL SESSION.

Glover: AND I THINK WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IS YOU START GETTING CLOSER TO WHEN THE SPECIAL SESSION IS GOING TO HAPPEN, AND WE DON'T KNOW WHEN THE SPECIAL SESSION IS GOING TO HAPPEN. IT'S PROBABLY GOING TO BE LATER THIS MONTH.

Borg: DAVE MENTIONED "MONEY'S WORTH," AND I'M SURE OUR VIEWERS ARE SAYING TO THEMSELVES, "WHAT DOES THIS COST?"

Yepsen: $35- TO $40,000 A DAY.

Borg: AND IT COULD BE LENGTHY.

Yepsen: WELL, SURE. AND THAT'S PART OF THE INCENTIVE, DEAN, TO GET SOME DEALS CUT EARLY. YOU DON'T WANT TO JUST BRING THE LEGISLATURE BACK AND THEN HAVE THEM FLOP AROUND. EVERYBODY LOOKS BAD. THEY'LL GET THESE THINGS WORKED OUT BEFORE THEY EVER COME BACK, AND THEY CAN ACCOMPLISH IT IN A COUPLE DAYS.

Obradovich: ULTIMATELY, IT MIGHT BE CHEAPER THAN THEM SITTING IN SESSION OVER TIME AND DOING NOTHING.

Glover: AND I'M NOT AT ALL CONVINCED THAT WE'RE NOT GOING TO HAVE MORE THAN ONE SPECIAL SESSION, BECAUSE THE HISTORY OF THIS BUNCH OF PEOPLE HAS BEEN THEY'LL COME IN AND DO ONE IN-YOUR-FACE SPECIAL SESSION, WHERE THEY REFUSE TO DO MUCH AND THERE'S A LOT OF SHOUTING, AND THEN THEY'LL COME IN AGAIN AND HAVE A REAL SPECIAL SESSION.

Yepsen: WELL, YOU COULD SEE THEM, MIKE, SET ASIDE, FOR EXAMPLE, THIS GAMBLING SITUATION YOU JUST DESCRIBED AND DO THAT IN A SECOND SPECIAL SESSION, DEPENDING ON WHAT THE SUPREME COURTS SAYS.

Glover: BECAUSE AS SOON -- IT WAS VERY INTERESTING; USUALLY AT THE END OF A LEGISLATIVE SESSION AS THEY GRIND INTO THE NIGHT, EVERYONE IS RUNNING AROUND SAYING, OH, I'VE GOT TO HAVE MY LAST LITTLE PIECE OR MAKE SURE THIS PIECE IS IN THAT BILL OR MAKE SURE THIS PIECE IS IN THAT BILL. NONE OF THAT HAPPENED THURSDAY NIGHT WHEN THEY WERE SHUTTING DOWN BECAUSE EVERYBODY KNEW: I'M GONNA HAVE ANOTHER CHANCE.

Borg: KAY, WHAT DID PASS THAT WAS SIGNIFICANT?

Henderson: THEY LOWERED IOWA'S DRUNKEN DRIVING STANDARD TO .08 BLOOD-ALCOHOL, SO FOLKS WHO ARE DRINKING AND DRIVING ARE GOING TO FACE A TOUGHER STANDARD. THEY ALSO SET THE PLANS IN MOTION WHICH COULD EVENTUALLY LEAD TO THE SALE OF THE IOWA COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK. THAT'S THE FIBER OPTIC NETWORK THAT THE STATE OWNS. THEY ALSO, IN THE WANING HOURS OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION, APPROVED A $3-MILLION LOAN FOR THE NEW MEATPACKING PLANT IN TAMA, AND THAT'S TO BE REPAID IN THREE YEARS.

Yepsen: AND DON'T FORGET THE BUDGET. THEY APPROVED A BUDGET THAT CUTS ABOUT $70 MILLION IN AID TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, AND IOWANS ARE GOING TO START SEEING AND FEELING THAT. WHAT THAT DOES, DEAN, IS I THINK THAT REALLY STARTS FORCING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS OUT THERE TO START CHANGING THE WAY THEY DO BUSINESS.

Glover: I THINK WE HAD A REAL SEA CHANGE, AND THAT MAY BE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT COMES OUT OF THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION. YOU HAD A REAL SEA CHANGE IN THE IOWA LEGISLATURE AND THEIR VIEW OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT. THEY'RE TIRED OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. THEY SEE IT AS WASTEFUL, DUPLICATIVE, AND TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT. AND THEY'RE STARTING TO SQUEEZE THEM WITH THE DELIBERATE GOAL OF ELIMINATING A LOT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.

Borg: AND THAT'S WHAT THE LEGISLATURE HAS CALLED REINVENT GOVERNMENT?

Glover: YEAH.

Borg: YEAH. AND THAT'S WHERE THE MAYOR OF CEDAR RAPIDS, WATERLOO, I THINK THE QUAD CITIES, DAVENPORT --

Henderson: EVERYWHERE. EVERY MAYOR, EVERY FIRE CHIEF, EVERY -- [ SPEAKING AT ONCE ]

Glover: BECAUSE THE NAME ON THE BILL OUGHT TO BE "LET'S INVENT SOME LOCAL GOVERNMENT OUT OF BUSINESS, WHICH IS THE GOAL.

Obradovich: THERE WAS SOME INVENTION OF -- REINVENTION OF STATE GOVERNMENT, THOUGH, AND A LOT OF IT REALLY WAS SORT OF IGNORED IN ALL THE FUROR OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BUDGET CUTS. ONE OF THOSE WAS A MAJOR CHANGE IN HOW THE STATE DOES CHILD WELFARE, TOTALLY REVAMPING THE WAY THEY PAY THE PROVIDERS FOR THAT. THEY HAD SOME OTHER MAJOR CHANGES. THEY MOVED THE LOTTERY TOWARD A MORE PRIVATE ENTITY. IT'S NO LONGER GOING TO BE A STATE AGENCY. IT'S THE KIND OF THING THAT, YOU KNOW, WAS IN A 120-PAGE BILL AND NOBODY PAID ANY ATTENTION TO IT. THEY ARE GOING TO RAISE FILING FEES. THEY'RE DOING A LOT OF THINGS AS PART OF THAT LOCAL GOVERNMENT BILL THAT NOBODY EVEN REALLY KNOWS.

Glover: THERE WAS ONE PROVISION, I REMEMBER, DEALING WITH MEDICAID, WHERE THEY TOOK -- THEY SQUEEZE A BUNCH OF MONEY OUT OF MEDICAID, AND THEN IN THAT BILL, THEY SQUEEZE A BUNCH MORE OUT OF IT AND THEN THEY REPLACE IT WITH ONE-TIME MONEY, MONEY THEY'RE ONLY GOING TO HAVE FOR ONE YEAR, AND THEN THEY HAVE AN OLD SENTENCE THAT SAYS, "IN FOLLOWING YEARS THIS WILL BE MADE UP BY IMPROVEMENTS IN MEDICAID."

Henderson: THEY ALSO CHANGED THE RULES FOR FUTURE LOCAL OPTION SALES TAXES. SO POLK COUNTY, WHEN THE END OF TEN YEARS RUNS OUT, AT THE END OF THAT TEN YEARS, ANY MONEY THAT'S GENERATED GOES INTO A STATEWIDE POOL. SO WHAT'S GOING ON THERE IS THAT THEY'RE TRYING TO FORCE DISTRIBUTION ON A PER PUPIL BASIS, THAT MONEY FOR SCHOOL BUILDING REPAIRS.

Borg: YOU MENTIONED THAT THE LEGISLATURE PUT THE SQUEEZE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT. WELL, SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE A FORM OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT. THEY ALSO GOT THE SQUEEZE?

Yepsen: WELL, SURE, THEY GOT SQUEEZED BUT NOT IN THE SAME FAT WAY THAT CITIES AND COUNTIES GOT SQUEEZED. I MEAN SCHOOLS, IF THERE'S ANYBODY WHO'S A WINNER, I'VE GOT TO SAY -- A WINNER HERE, IT'S PROBABLY K-12. THEY GOT 2-PERCENT ALLOWABLE GROWTH. THERE'S A REAL FEELING DOWN THERE WE'VE GOT TO HELP OUR SCHOOLS. SCHOOL PEOPLE AREN'T HAPPY BUT I'D SUGGEST TO ANY SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER THAT THINKS THE SCHOOL BUDGET IS TOO TIGHT, THEY GO TALK TO SOMEBODY ON THE CITY COUNCIL.

Glover: THAT'S RIGHT. THEY DID GET MORE MONEY. THEY PROBABLY -- AT SOME POINT, I THINK THAT THERE'S SOME VERSION OF THIS IOWA VALUES FUND THAT'S GOING TO PASS AT SOME POINT, AND THERE'S PROBABLY GOING TO BE SOME MONEY FOR --

Yepsen: AND I THINK, MIKE, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S IN THIS VALUES FUND TO HELP RURAL SCHOOLS IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD HELP LOCAL RURAL SCHOOLS MERGE. WE'VE GOT A LOT OF LOCAL AND SMALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS OUT THERE WHO SAY, YOU KNOW, WE KNOW WE'VE GOT TO DO THIS. WE'VE GOT DISPARITIES IN OUR TAXES BETWEEN ONE DISTRICT AND THE OTHER. SO THERE'S A REAL HOPE IN THE LEGISLATURE THAT WE PRODDED THEM WITH LOW BUDGETS AND NOW WE'RE GOING TO GIVE THEM A LITTLE CARROT HERE TO TRY TO HELP ENCOURAGE MORE MERGERS TO OCCUR.

Glover: ONE OF THE THINGS WE SAID AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION WAS THIS WAS A SESSION TO PICTURE THE GOVERNOR STANDING AT THE PODIUM AND USING THE WORDS "SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION" WITHOUT LIGHTNING STRIKING HIM.

Obradovich: YOU NOTICED, THOUGH, THAT NOTHING ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO FORCE SCHOOL CONSOLIDATIONS. LEGISLATORS RAN FROM THAT ISSUE AND EVEN THE IDEA OF OFFERING SOME SORT OF CASH INCENTIVES OR SOME KIND OF BONUSES FOR CONSOLIDATION. NOBODY WANTED TO TOUCH THAT.

Yepsen: BUT, KATHIE, THERE'S ALREADY -- THERE'S MORE DISCUSSION GOING ON OUT THERE VERY QUIETLY, DISTRICT TO DISTRICT, THAN THERE EVER HAS BEEN BEFORE IN IOWA. PEOPLE IN RURAL IOWA UNDERSTAND THAT THEIR SCHOOLS NEED SOME CHANGES. AND SO IF THE LEGISLATURE COULD NUDGE THIS ALONG A LITTLE BIT, IT'S GOING TO TAKE CARE OF ITSELF.

Borg: YOU MENTIONED EFFICIENCY IN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. THERE ARE ALSO -- THE CEDAR RAPIDS AREA WAS DOWN ASKING FOR SOME ENABLING LEGISLATION TO MAKE IT EASIER TO PERHAPS DO SOME COOPERATIVE THINGS WITH LINN COUNTY. AND I THINK IN DES MOINES TOO; ISN'T THAT HAPPENING?

Yepsen: IT STARTED WITH POLK COUNTY HAVING A CHARTER AT -- MERGE A BUNCH OF GOVERNMENTS HERE. THE CITY OF DES MOINES AND POLK COUNTY, THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, THEY WERE GOING TO TRY TO MERGE THEM TOGETHER. SO THEY'RE IN THE PROCESS OF DOING THAT IN POLK COUNTY. LINN COUNTY IS WAITING UNTIL -- TO SEE IF THIS LAW WAS APPROVED, AND IT WAS. SO I THINK NOW WITH THIS NEW ENABLING LEGISLATION KIND OF CLEANING UP THE LAW, YOU'RE GOING TO SEE A LOT OF IOWA'S LARGER COMMUNITIES REALLY START TO TAKE A MORE SERIOUS LOOK AT MERGING SOME OF THESE SERVICES.

Glover: AND WHAT THE LEGISLATURE DID WAS A DAGGER THROUGH THE HEART, A $70-MILLION CUT IN THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT GOES TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, AND WITH A VERY IMPORTANT CAVEAT. WHEN THEY CUT $70 MILLION IN STATE AID TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, THEY INCLUDED A PROVISION THAT FORBADE THEM FROM MAKING UP THAT MONEY WITH LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES. SO IT'S A REAL CUT AND A LOT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEADERS, I THINK IT'S BEGINNING TO SIT HOME WITH THEM THAT THEY SIMPLY CAN'T KEEP GOING.

Borg: I'M GOING TO GO INTO SOME WINNERS AND LOSERS HERE. WE'VE ALREADY DONE SOME OF THAT, BUT I DON'T WANT TO OVERLOOK A LATE SESSION ACTION THAT OVERTURNED SOME AIR QUALITY LEGISLATION, KAY.

Henderson: THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMISSION ESTABLISHED NEW EMISSION STANDARDS GOVERNING THE EMISSION OF HYDROGEN SULFIDE AND AMMONIA. >>

Borg: THAT WAS A COMMISSION CREATED BY THE LEGISLATURE LAST SESSION.

Henderson: IT WAS A -- THIS WAS IMPLEMENTING A LAW ON LIVESTOCK CONFINEMENTS THAT LEGISLATORS PASSED LAST YEAR. BUSINESS GROUPS CRIED FOUL AND SAID, "THIS APPLIES TO US. YOU CAN'T OPEN A BOTTLE OF WINDEX OUTSIDE YOUR HOME, OR YOU WOULD BE IN VIOLATION OF THIS RULE." AND LEGISLATORS RESPONDED TO BUSINESS GROUPS BY STRIKING DOWN THOSE RULES, SO THEY'RE BACK AT SQUARE ONE. THE COMPLAINT HERE FROM PEOPLE WHO REALLY WANTED TO SEE THOSE RULES WAS THAT PEOPLE ARE INUNDATED BY SMELLS NEAR THESE HOG LOTS AND THEY WANT SOME RELIEF. SECONDARILY, THEY'RE WORRIED THAT THIS SHOWS THAT BUSINESS INTERESTS CAN SIMPLY GO AROUND THE PROCESS AND JUST KICK ANYTHING DOWN AND SO THAT THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY RULES THAT REGULATE THOSE EMISSIONS.

Borg: LATE IN THE SESSION, I THINK IT WAS THURSDAY, DICK MYERS, WHO I'VE MENTIONED BEFORE HAS BEEN THE MINORITY LEADER, AND STILL IS OF COURSE, IN THE IOWA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SAID THAT HE'S QUITTING BEFORE THIS SESSION IS OVER. THAT IS, WE'RE FINISHED WITH THE FIRST SESSION BUT THERE'S STILL ANOTHER ONE TO GO, BUT HE'S BOWING OUT.

Glover: AND HE DID IT -- HE DID IT, I THINK, IN A VERY THOUGHTFUL AND CLEVER, EVEN, WAY. HE ANNOUNCED ON THE LAST DAY OF THE SESSION THAT HE WOULD BE STEPPING DOWN AND LEAVING HIS SEAT, LEAVING THE LEGISLATURE, ON JULY 1, WHICH WOULD ALLOW HIM TO REMAIN AS A FLOOR LEADER THROUGH ANY SPECIAL SESSIONS THAT WE HAVE IN MAY OR JUNE BUT SET THE STAGE IN MOTION FOR HIM -- THE REPLACEMENT PROCESS TO START, BECAUSE YOU CAN JUST TELL THERE'S A SEA CHANGE IN THE CHARACTER AND THE TENOR AND THE TONE OF THE LEGISLATIVE CHAMBER WHEN THERE'S A LEADERSHIP ELECTION. YOU COULD TELL THAT WITHIN MINUTES OF HIM ANNOUNCING HE WAS LEAVING.

Henderson: DAVID TALKED ABOUT HOW GOVERNOR VILSACK HAS BECOME A CENTRIST. ONE OF THE THINGS DICK MYERS DID VERY WELL, AND THE HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS AMONG THEM, WAS LEAD THEM TOWARD THE CENTER. AS A BUSINESS OWNER, HE BROUGHT A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE TO THE REPUBLICAN VOICE, AND THAT WILL BE MISSED.

Yepsen: DEAN, AND HE DID, I THOUGHT, A REALLY GREAT JOB OF BALANCING THE -- HE COMES OUT OF IOWA CITY -- THEY'RE THE MOST LIBERAL CONSTITUENCY IN THE STATE -- AND DIDN'T THINK PROFIT WAS A FOUR LETTER WORD BECAUSE HE WAS A BUSINESS PERSON. HE WAS THE KIND OF GUY WHO WANTED TO GET THINGS DONE. HE DIDN'T CARE FOR ALL THE POLITICAL GRANDSTANDING. HE WANTED TO GET THINGS DONE, AND I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE A REAL TRIBUTE TO DICK MYERS WHEN THEY ACTUALLY PASS THIS STUFF IN THE SPECIAL SESSION.

Obradovich: I THINK HIS LEAVING WILL MOVE HIS CAUCUS TO THE LEFT. HE COMES FROM THE JOHNSON COUNTY AREA. IT'S A PRETTY GOOD BET THAT WHOEVER THEY ELECT WILL BE A LOT MORE LIBERAL THAN DICK MYERS WAS. THEY ALSO LOST ANOTHER FAIRLY CENTRIST MEMBER OF THEIR CAUCUS EARLIER THIS YEAR WITH FRANK CHIODO, AND THEY REPLACED HIM - THEY REPLACED HIM WITH A FAIRLY LIBERAL BRUCE HUNTER FROM POLK COUNTY. SO I MEAN, I THINK YOU WILL SEE THE CAUCUS START TO MOVE MORE TO THE LEFT NOW WITH MYERS' RETIREMENT.

Yepsen: I THINK YOU'LL SEE A LOT MORE DEMOCRATIC RETIREMENTS. THE DEMOCRATS CAN ADD AND THEY DON'T SEE A VERY GOOD PROSPECT IN THE '04 ELECTION. I LOT OF THEM RAN THINKING THAT GOVERNOR VILSACK WOULD LEAD THEM BACK TO TAKING CONTROL OF THE LEGISLATURE. THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. THE PROSPECTS DON'T LOOK GOOD IN '04, SO I THINK WE'RE SEEING THE BEGINNINGS OF SEVERAL DEMOCRATIC RETIREMENTS FOR THE '04 ELECTION.

Borg: ARE THERE LIKELY -- HAVE YOU GOT ANY NAMES IN MIND HERE ON WHO'S LIKELY TO SUCCEED?

Glover: WELL, WE DON'T KNOW WHO'S GOING TO REPLACE HIM. THERE WILL BE A PRETTY SPIRITED AND PRETTY COMPETITIVE ELECTION. MARY MASCHER, ALSO OF IOWA CITY, IS AN ASSISTANT LEADER, LIKELY TO BE INTERESTED IN BEING A LEADER. POLLY BUTKA FROM CLINTON IS ASSISTANT LEADER AND IS LIKELY TO BE INTERESTED. GREG STEVENS FROM MILFORD IS VERY INTERESTED IN MOVING TO A LEADERSHIP POSITION.

Yepsen: DEAN, YOU ASKED ABOUT GRADES HERE OF THE SESSION. I THINK THEY'RE INCOMPLETE AND I THINK THAT THE PROSPECTS LOOK PRETTY GOOD. I REMEMBER MY DAUGHTER'S REPORT CART ALWAYS WOULD HAVE LITTLE LINES IN THERE THAT WOULD SAY "CLOSE TO EARNING NEXT HIGHEST GRADE." AND I THINK THAT'S WHERE YOU HAVE TO PUT THE LEGISLATURE RIGHT NOW.

Borg: I ALSO REMEMBER THOSE "N.I.", NEEDS IMPROVEMENT. [ LAUGHTER ] WE HAVE JUST A FEW SECONDS LEFT HERE. IS THERE A LIKELY DATE FOR THE SPECIAL SESSION, DO YOU THINK?

Glover: MIDDLE OF THE MONTH. SOMEWHERE AROUND THE MIDDLE OF THE MONTH.

Borg: STILL IN MAY, THOUGH?

Glover: YEAH. THE 12TH OF MAY IS BEING TOSSED OUT AS ONE POSSIBILITY NOW.

Borg: AND THE POSSIBILITY OF MORE THAN ONE SPECIAL SESSION?

Yepsen: I THINK THAT'S TRUE, DEPENDING ON WHAT THE GAMBLING DECISION SAYS. >>

Borg: THANKS FOR YOUR INSIGHTS. WE'LL BEING TRACKING THE BIG ISSUES NOW AS THEY MOVE FROM THE LEGISLATURE TO GOVERNOR VILSACK, AND ALSO THE POSSIBILITY OF THE GOVERNOR CALLING THAT SPECIAL SESSION, WHICH WE PRETTY MUCH AGREED HERE IN CONSENSUS THAT IT'S VERY, VERY LIKELY AND WILL BE WITHIN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS HERE IN MAY. WELL, THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEKEND'S EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." WE'LL BE BACK AT 6:30 NEXT FRIDAY, WITH A REBROADCAST SUNDAY AT NOON. I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH THEN. I'M DEAN BORG. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY "FRIENDS," THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION... GENERATIONS OF FAMILIES AND FRIENDS WHO FEEL PASSIONATE ABOUT THE PROGRAMS THEY WATCH ON IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION.

AND 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.