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Governor Tom Vilsack
(#3040)
May 23, 2003

IOWA PRESS #3040 >>

Borg: IOWA'S EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES ARE NEGOTIATING DETAILS OF LEGISLATION TO BE CONSIDERED DURING A SPECIAL LEGISLATION SESSION ON THURSDAY, MAY 29. A REPORT ON THE PROGRESS AND THE POLITICAL CLIMATE FROM GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK 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 23 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS" WAS TO HAVE BROUGHT THE PRESIDENT OF IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY, GREGORY GEOFFROY, TO THE "IOWA PRESS" TABLE. HOWEVER, WITH A SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION JUST AHEAD, WE HAVE RESCHEDULED DR. GEOFFROY FOR JUNE 27, AND WE GENUINELY APPRECIATE HIS COOPERATION. GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK, WHO CALLED THIS COMING THURSDAY'S SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSION, JOINS US ON THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." GOVERNOR VILSACK AND REPRESENTATIVES OF HIS ADMINISTRATION HAVE BEEN IN CLOSED-DOOR NEGOTIATIONS WITH LEADERS OF THE REPUBLICAN-CONTROLLED IOWA GENERAL ASSEMBLY. AT THE TOP OF THEIR AGENDA, THAT ECONOMIC JUMP-START CALLED THE IOWA VALUES FUND. ALSO IN THE PACKAGE FOR PROPOSALS ARE TAX REFORM AND CHANGES IN BUSINESS REGULATIONS. THE STANDOFF DURING THE CLOSING WEEKS OF THE REGULAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION NOT ONLY INVOLVED PHILOSOPHICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR AND A REPUBLICAN-CONTROLLED LEGISLATURE BUT ALSO INTRAPARTY DIFFERENCES AMONG REPUBLICANS AS WELL AS THE HOUSE AGAINST THE SENATE. WELL, WITH THAT BACKDROP, GOVERNOR VILSACK, WELCOME TO "IOWA PRESS." WE'RE GOING TO TEST THE POLITICAL CLIMATE AS TO WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW.

Vilsack: IT'S NICE TO BE BACK.

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

Glover: GOVERNOR, AS DEAN MENTIONED, YOU'VE BEEN IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH LEGISLATIVE LEADERS ABOUT WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT THURSDAY. GIVE US A STATUS REPORT. WHERE ARE THINGS? HAVE YOU GOT A DEAL?

Vilsack: WE SPENT ABOUT AN HOUR AND A HALF ON THE PHONE TODAY WITH LEGISLATIVE LEADERS ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE. WE ARE GETTING CLOSER. WE'RE NOT THERE YET. THEY'RE STILL FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE, AS DEAN INDICATED. ONE OF THE MAJOR PROBLEMS WITH THE FUND IS WHETHER OR NOT SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE WILL BE INCLUDED AND HOW WE WOULD GO ABOUT FUNDING THAT. THERE'S STILL ISSUES INVOLVING THE TAX SITUATION, WITH THE INCOME TAX, PRIMARILY: HOW QUICKLY DO WE GET RID OF FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY AND WHETHER OR NOT WE CAN HAVE A REVENUE-NEUTRAL TAX REDUCTION PROGRAM.

Glover: WHAT ARE YOUR PARAMETERS IN THE VARIOUS PIECES THAT ARE PART OF THIS PACKAGE? DO YOU HAVE THINGS THAT YOU HAVE TO HAVE TO ACCEPT?

Vilsack: WELL, I AGREE WITH THE HOUSE. I THINK THE SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE IS A VERY IMPORTANT PIECE TO THIS, AND I THINK IT'S NECESSARY THAT THAT BE THERE. AND I THINK THE SENATE IS BEGINNING TO REALIZE THAT. WE'RE NOW TRYING TO GRAPPLE WITH HOW YOU FINANCE IT. ON THE INCOME TAX SIDE, IT'S BASICALLY TWO PARAMETERS. ONE, I THINK FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY IS A BARRIER TO THE RECRUITMENT OF UPPER AND MIDDLE-LEVEL MANAGEMENT PERSONNEL IN OUR STATE AND BUSINESS GROWTH, AND WE OUGHT TO GET RID OF IT SOONER RATHER THAN LATER. AND I THINK THAT GIVEN THE DIFFICULTY WE HAD WITH THIS YEAR'S BUDGET THAT IT WOULD BE UNWISE TO CUT TAXES. WE CAN CUT TAX RATES, AS LONG AS THERE ARE OTHER REVENUE SOURCES THAT ARE IDENTIFIED TO BACKFILL THE LOST REVENUE.

Yepsen: GOVERNOR, IS THERE ANY SCENARIO WHERE YOU DECIDE TO CALL THIS WHOLE THING OFF? IF YOU DON'T GET AN AGREEMENT AT SOME POINT HERE, DO YOU JUST SIMPLY SAY, "I'M NOT GOING TO BRING THESE PEOPLE BACK"?

Vilsack: YOU'RE TEMPTED TO DO THAT, BUT THE DISCUSSIONS TODAY WERE FRUITFUL. AND I CAN TELL FROM THE TONE OF VOICE OF THE LEADERS THAT THERE'S REALLY NOW A GENUINE DESIRE TO TRY TO GET IT DONE. I THINK THERE'S AN EXPECTATION. I'LL TELL YOU, DAVID, THIS IS IMPORTANT TO GET DONE NOW. PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE WHAT WE'RE FACED WITH. WE'RE FACED WITH A SITUATION WHERE THERE COULD BE BUSINESSES CLOSING WHO ARE LOOKING FOR A SIGN, AN INDICATION FROM OUR LEGISLATURE, THAT IN FACT WORKER TRAINING MONEYS WILL BE AVAILABLE AND THAT MAY SAVE THOUSANDS OF JOBS. WE HAVE WORK FORCE DEVELOPMENT OFFICES IN 74 RURAL COMMUNITIES THAT WILL SHUT DON'T JUNE 30 IF WE DON'T GET SOMETHING DONE. AND OTHER STATES ARE IN SUCH POOR FISCAL CONDITION THAT THIS IS A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO BE SO MUCH MORE COMPETITIVE THAN WE'VE EVER BEEN BEFORE FOR ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY THAT IF WE WAIT FOR A MONTH, WAIT FOR SIX MONTHS, WAIT FOR A YEAR, WE'LL LOSE THAT OPPORTUNITY AND WE'LL NEVER GET IT BACK.

Borg: THAT'S THAT SAME TERM YOU USED LAST TIME YOU WERE ON THIS PROGRAM, "WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY." I WAS GOING TO ASK, BUT YOU PRETTY MUCH HAVE SAID IT THAT IT'S NOT A MATTER OF WAITING EVEN EIGHT MONTHS TILL NEXT JANUARY. IT HAS TO BE DOWN NOW, IN YOUR ESTIMATION?

Vilsack: IT DOES. THERE ARE, AS I SAID, BUSINESSES THAT ARE LOOKING FOR SIGNALS. THE LIFE SCIENCES INDUSTRY IS LOOKING FOR A SIGNAL. THERE ARE MANUFACTURING CONCERNS THAT WOULD LIKE TO UPGRADE THEIR FACILITIES HERE OR SOMEWHERE ELSE. IF THEY CAN GET WORKER TRAINING RESOURCES, THEY'LL BE ABLE TO DO IT HERE. AND AGAIN, PART OF THIS ARRANGEMENT IS TO TRY TO KEEP THESE WORK FORCE DEVELOPMENT OFFICES OPEN, TO KEEP THE FOLKS WHO ARE WORKING THERE EMPLOYED AND HELP THOSE WHO ARE CURRENTLY UNEMPLOYED TRY TO FIND WORK IN IOWA.

Glover: I'D LIKE TO GET YOUR ASSESSMENT OF, SORT OF, THE SENSE OF THE POLITICS OF THIS THING. YOU'VE BEEN TRAVELING ALL OVER THE STATE TALKING ABOUT THIS ISSUE IN THE DISTRICTS OF SOME RELUCTANT SENATORS. WHAT'S YOUR SENSE OF WHAT PEOPLE THINK ABOUT THIS? IS THERE A DEMAND OUT THERE? ARE PEOPLE SOLD ON THIS?

Vilsack: I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY QUESTION THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT WE NEED TO TRANSFORM THE ECONOMY. NO ONE IS SATISFIED WITH THE STATUS QUO. NO ONE IS SATISFIED WITH BUDGETS THAT DO NOT ADEQUATELY SUPPORT SCHOOLS, HEALTH CARE, PUBLIC SAFETY, THE ENVIRONMENT. AND I THINK THERE IS A GROWING RECOGNITION OF THE FACT THAT THIS IS A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE STATE. AND I THINK THAT THERE IS A GROWING RECOGNITION ON THE PART OF STATE SENATORS, IN PARTICULAR, BECAUSE CONSTITUENTS HAVE BEEN TALKING TO THEM FROM ALL PARTS OF THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM. THERE ARE CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS WHO ARE VERY SUPPORTIVE OF THIS. THERE ARE VERY PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS WHO ARE VERY SUPPORTIVE OF THIS. THERE ARE FOLKS IN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE, IN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, IN EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY COLLEGES, THOSE ASSOCIATED WITH THE REGENTS UNIVERSITY, IT IS A BROAD COALITION SUPPORTING THIS. IT'S JUST A BASIC RECOGNITION THAT WE HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO TRANSFORM THE ECONOMY NOW. WE WILL LOSE THAT OPPORTUNITY AND WE'LL BE COMPETING WITH EVERYBODY ELSE ON A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD IN A YEAR OR SO WHEN THINGS TURN AROUND NATIONALLY, AND THIS IS A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY THAT WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE.

Glover: AT THE SAME TIME, THE DELAY SINCE THE LEGISLATURE ENTERED ITS REGULAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION HAS GIVEN SOME GROUPS -- AND THERE ARE INTEREST GROUPS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE SPECTRUM THAT DON'T LIKE THIS -- GIVEN THEM TIME TO WORK THEIR WILL AS WELL. HAS THAT MADE A DIFFERENCE?

Vilsack: I DON'T THINK IT HAS. GIVEN THE TENOR, GIVEN THE DIRECTION OF THE CONVERSATIONS THAT WE'VE HAD WITH LEADERS ON BOTH SIDES -- IN BOTH CHAMBERS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE, I DON'T THINK IT IS. I THINK THERE'S STILL STRONG BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR A VALUES FUND. I THINK THERE IS STRONG BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR TAX REFORM IF IT'S THE RIGHT KIND OF TAX REFORM, IF IT'S REVENUE NEUTRAL AND FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY IS ELIMINATED EARLIER RATHER THAN LATER. THERE IS OBVIOUSLY A DISAGREEMENT ABOUT REGULATORY ISSUES. THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT. THAT IS PART OF THE POLITICAL PROCESS OF COMPROMISE. SOME OF US WOULD PREFER NOT TO HAVE TO COMPROMISE IN THAT WAY, BUT THE REALITY IS, IF YOU WANT TO GET A DEAL WHERE THEY SPLIT LEGISLATURE AND THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE AND DIFFERENT PARTIES, YOU'VE GOT TO COMPROMISE.

Yepsen: WELL, GOVERNOR, TALK ABOUT THAT. YOU'RE GETTING SOME OPPOSITION FROM YOUR OWN PARTY. I MEAN THE TRIAL LAWYERS; YOU USED TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION. THEY'RE UP AGAINST THIS. YOU'VE GOT THE TEACHERS UNION IS RUNNING ADS SAYING THEY DON'T WANT ANY TAX BILL IN THIS THING, AND YOU'VE GOT THE STATE FEDERATION OF LABOR. YOU'RE THE FIRST DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR IN THIRTY YEARS. AND WHERE ARE YOUR PEOPLE? WHY AREN'T THEY FOLLOWING YOU? WHAT DO YOU SAY TO DEMOCRATS WHO ARE STARTING TO TRY TO TEAR THIS THING APART?

Vilsack: WELL, I TRY TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO LOOK AT THE LARGER PICTURE, THE FUTURE OF THE STATE. I TRY TO IMPRESS UPON THEM THAT THE FUTURE OF THE STATE IS IN THE BALANCE. IF WE WANT THIS STATE TO GROW AND TO PROGRESS, IT'S GOING TO BE NECESSARY FOR US TO HAVE THIS FUND AND HAVE IT NOW. THE LIFE SCIENCES ARE CRITICAL. TRANSFORMING OUR MANUFACTURING ECONOMY FROM AN OLD ECONOMY, OLD MANUFACTURING FACILITIES TO NEW, ADVANCED MANUFACTURING FACILITIES WILL SAVE JOBS, WILL HELP EXPAND UNION JOBS. I TRY TO IMPRESS UPON THEM THAT THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY HAS DRIVEN ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY IN THE LAST DECADE, AND WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO BUILD ON THAT. AND I ALSO TRY TO SUGGEST TO THEM THAT IT'S DIFFICULT WHEN YOU'RE DEALING WITH A REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE AND A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR; BOTH SIDES HAVE TO GIVE. I THINK I HAVE FOLKS CONVINCED THAT THE VALUES FUND IS A GOOD IDEA. I THINK TEACHERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT TAX REFORM BECAUSE THEY'RE CONCERNED IT MAY REDUCE REVENUES AT A TIME WHEN WE'RE TRYING TO SCRAPE THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL TO MAKE SURE WE MAKE PAYMENTS FOR TEACHER SALARIES AND CLASS-SIZE REDUCTION. I TRIED TO ASSURE THEM THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A REVENUE NEUTRAL PROGRAM AT THE END OF THE DAY. YOU KNOW, YOU CAN'T SATISFY EVERYONE. I JUST HAVE TO HOPE THAT PEOPLE WILL UNDERSTAND THAT WHAT I'M FOCUSED ON IS THE BIGGER PICTURE, THE FUTURE OF THIS STATE. MY JOB IS NOT TO REPRESENT THE SPECIAL INTEREST. MY JOB IS TO REPRESENT THE COMMON INTEREST. AND THE COMMON INTEREST WILL BE ADVANCED IF WE HAVE THESE JOBS THAT PAY WAGES THAT SUPPORT FAMILIES AND PRODUCE REVENUES THAT WILL ALLOW US TO DO A BETTER JOB OF EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN, A BETTER JOB OF PROVIDING HEALTH CARE FOR OUR SENIORS, AND A BETTER JOB OF PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT.

Yepsen: WHEN YOU WERE OUT HERE THE LAST TIME, YOU SAID THERE WAS REALLY ONLY ONE DEMOCRAT THE REPUBLICANS IN THE LEGISLATURE HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT AND THAT'S YOU. BUT I HEARD FROM SEVERAL DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATORS, AND THEY WERE A LITTLE BIT UPSET AT THAT, THAT THEY THOUGHT THAT YOU ARE NOT BRINGING THEM ALONG, YOU'RE NOT INCLUDING THEM. DON'T YOU NEED DEMOCRATIC VOTES IN THE LEGISLATURE FOR SOME OF THIS?

Vilsack: WE NEED DEMOCRATIC SUPPORT AND WE'VE GOT DEMOCRATIC SUPPORT IN THE HOUSE, AND I EXPECT THAT WE'LL GET DEMOCRATIC SUPPORT IN THE SENATE. WE'VE HAD CONVERSATIONS WITH DEMOCRATS. I WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT MY DEMOCRATS FELT COMFORTABLE SUPPORTING THIS, THAT THEY DIDN'T FEEL LIKE THEY HAD TO DO IT BECAUSE THE GOVERNOR WAS PROPOSING IT. I WANT THEM TO DO IT BECAUSE IT'S THE RIGHT THING FOR THE STATE. I BELIEVE FIRMLY THAT IT IS THE RIGHT THING FOR THE STATE. I'VE BEEN TO COMMENCEMENTS RECENTLY. I'VE SEEN THOUSANDS OF YOUNG PEOPLE GRADUATE FROM IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY, FROM A LAW SCHOOL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. I ASKED MYSELF ARE WE DOING EVERYTHING WE POSSIBLY CAN TO KEEP THESE YOUNG PEOPLE IN OUR STATE AND TO GIVE THEM OPPORTUNITY. UNLESS WE HAVE THE VALUES FUND, THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION IS, NO, WE'RE NOT.

Glover: GOVERNOR, I'D LIKE YOU TO TURN YOUR EYE ACROSS THE PARTISAN AISLE, IF I COULD. IS THE REPUBLICAN OPPOSITION TO THIS MERELY THE FIRST SHOT IN THE REPUBLICAN GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY?

Vilsack: YOU KNOW, I HAVEN'T GOTTEN A SENSE OF THAT AT ALL. I REALLY HAVEN'T GOTTEN A SENSE OF THAT AT ALL, AT LEAST AS FAR AS THE HOUSE IS CONCERNED. I THINK THE LEADERS IN THE HOUSE, REPRESENTATIVE GIPP AND REPRESENTATIVE RANTS -- SPEAKER RANTS, HAVE DONE AN EXTRAORDINARY JOB TRYING TO REACH ACROSS THE AISLE, TRY TO WORK WITH REPRESENTATIVE MYERS. AND IF I COULD JUST TAKE THIRTY SECONDS OF THIS SHOW TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT DICK MYERS. HE IS AN EXTRAORDINARY POLITICIAN. THIS STATE IS GOING TO MISS HIM. HE IS AGGRESSIVE. HE'S TOUGH. HE'S ENERGETIC. HE'S PASSIONATE ABOUT THE PARTY AND PASSIONATE ABOUT POLICY AND PASSIONATE ABOUT THIS STATE. WE'RE GOING TO MISS DICK MYERS. HAVING SAID THAT, I JUST DON'T SENSE THAT ON THE HOUSE SIDE AND, CERTAINLY, I DON'T GET ANY INDICATION FROM SENATOR IVERSON THAT HE HAS ANY FAR-REACHING POLITICAL AGENDA. I THINK HE'S JUST TRYING TO GET THE JOB DONE. THERE MAY BE OTHERS IN THE STATE SENATE WHO HAVE DIFFERENT PLANS, BUT I JUST DON'T THINK THAT'S GOING TO INTERFERE.

Glover: WELL, TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY -- I KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO GET A LITTLE EXASPERATED BY THIS, BUT ONE OF THE ARGUMENTS YOU'RE HEARING UP IN THE STATE SENATE PARTICULARLY IS WE CAN'T APPROVE THIS, THIS IS A TOP PRIORITY OF A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR, AND WE CAN'T MAKE HIM LOOK GOOD BECAUSE HE JUST MIGHT RUN AGAINST CHUCK GRASSLEY THIS YEAR OR HE JUST MIGHT RUN FOR REELECTION AND DROP THIS NO-THIRD-TERM PLEDGE.

Vilsack: WELL, IT IS NOW --

Glover: HOW DO YOU ANSWER THAT?

Vilsack: IT'S NOW AN OFFICIAL "IOWA PRESS" SHOW WITH ME ON IT. I HAVE NO INTENTION OF RUNNING AGAINST SENATOR GRASSLEY. YESTERDAY OR THE DAY BEFORE I TALKED TO HIM AT LENGTH ABOUT HIS WORK ON THE STIMULUS PACKAGE. I CONGRATULATED HIM ON HIS EFFORTS FOR STATES -- STATE FISCAL RELIEF THAT I WORKED VERY HARD ON. AND I FEEL BADLY THAT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION LET HIM DOWN AND LET IOWA DOWN IN TERMS OF THE MEDICARE ISSUE. THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN HANDLED IN THAT TAX BILL, BECAUSE THAT WAS THE ONLY VEHICLE THAT WE WERE CERTAIN WAS GOING TO PASS. I HAVE NO INTENTION, NO PLAN TO RUN FOR A THIRD TERM. THAT IS PRECISELY WHY I MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENT, BECAUSE I WANT TO BE ABLE TO WORK IN A BIPARTISAN FASHION. I REALIZE THAT THIS WAS AN EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITY FOR OUR STATE, AND I DIDN'T WANT POLITICS TO MESS UP THE OPPORTUNITY THAT WE HAVE.

Yepsen: GOVERNOR, ROSS PEROT ALWAYS USED TO SAY LET'S GET IN UNDER THE HOOD.

Vilsack: OKAY.

Yepsen: ALL RIGHT. I WANT TO LOOK AT SOME OF THE VARIOUS PIECES OF THIS PROGRAM -- THIS DEAL YOU'RE TRYING TO PUT TOGETHER UP THERE. WE'LL START WITH THE VALUE FUND. I HEAR A LOT OF REPUBLICANS SAYING THEY DON'T LIKE THE IDEA OF DEBT, THAT WE SHOULDN'T BORROW MONEY TO DO THIS. IN FACT, JAN MICHAELSON, CONSERVATIVE TALK-SHOW HOST IN IOWA, SAYS IT VIOLATES THE STATE'S CONSTITUTION. HE SAYS YOU CAN'T EXTEND THE STATE'S CREDIT TO A PRIVATE BUSINESS. SO HOW DO YOU ANSWER THOSE CONCERNS ABOUT DEBT AND THE CONSTITUTIONALITY?

Vilsack: WELL, JAN, GOD LOVE HIM, I DIDN'T REALIZE HE WAS A CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLAR IN ADDITION TO ALL HIS OTHER TALENTS. BUT THE STATE OF IOWA HAS BORROWED BEFORE; VISION IOWA BEING THE MOST RECENT EXAMPLE. THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT IT'S LEGAL. HAVING SAID THAT, THERE ARE TWO WAYS THAT THIS COULD BE DONE. YOU COULD -- AS THE HOUSE HAS DONE, YOU COULD BOND; BUT YOU COULD HAVE A PAY-AS-YOU-GO PLAN, AS THE SENATE HAS PROPOSED, SO LONG AS THERE WAS SUFFICIENT RESOURCES EACH AND EVERY YEAR, A CRITICAL MASS COULD BE BUILT UP, AND THERE WAS A PREDICTABILITY AND STABILITY TO THAT FUND. WE WORKED WITH THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE LEADERSHIP TODAY ON A PAY-AS-YOU-GO PROCESS THAT WOULD POTENTIALLY PROVIDE FOR ENOUGH RESOURCES IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND, AT THE SAME TIME, WE'RE STILL GRAPPLING WITH THE ISSUE OF INFRASTRUCTURE FOR SCHOOLS.

Yepsen: HAVE YOU GIVEN UP ON THE IDEA OF A BONDED FUND, AND ARE YOU NOW THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN AS A PAY-AS-YOU-GO FUND?

Vilsack: WELL, THE SENATE HAS INDICATED VERY CLEARLY THAT THEY'RE NOT INTERESTED IN PROCEEDING THAT WAY. I'M TRYING TO FIND COMMON GROUND. I'M TRYING TO BRING THESE PARTIES TOGETHER. I'M TRYING TO GET THIS JOB DONE. AND I THINK THAT WE COULD GET A PAY-AS-YOU-GO PLAN. I DON'T KNOW THAT THE HOUSE IS YET SOLD ON THAT, AND THEY WON'T BE SOLD UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THEY'RE ASSURED THAT SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE IS PAID FOR AND INCLUDED.

Yepsen: YOUR CONCERN EARLIER WAS THAT A PAY-AS-YOU-GO FUND WOULDN'T BE BIG ENOUGH, THAT YOU'VE GOT $100 MILLION WORTH OF THINGS THAT NEED TO GET DONE OUT THERE RIGHT AWAY, AND THE BEST THEY WERE GOING TO GIVE YOU WAS 70. HAVE YOU WORKED THAT OUT?

Vilsack: WELL, THERE'S SOME FLEXIBILITIES IN TERMS OF THE BUDGET, PARTICULARLY IF THE GAMING COMPROMISE IS APPROVED. THERE'S SOME FLEXIBILITIES IN TERMS OF BEING ABLE TO DO TRANS OVA SORT OF SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM THE VALUES FUND, WHICH WOULD GIVE US ENOUGH CRITICAL MASS IN THE FIRST YEAR OR TWO TO GET THINGS DONE. CERTAINLY WORKER TRAINING MONEY IS SUFFICIENT TO RESPOND TO THE NEEDS THAT ARE OUT THERE, SO YOU COULD DO PAY AS YOU GO.

Yepsen: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE'VE NOT MADE CLEAR IS THAT THIS VALUES FUND IS MORE THAN JUST BORROWING MONEY TO GIVE TO -- OR USING GOVERNMENT MONEY FOR BUSINESSES. GO THROUGH WHAT ELSE IS IN THIS THING RIGHT NOW. I MEAN IT CHANGES HOURLY, SO TELL US WHAT'S IN THIS PACKAGE RIGHT NOW.

Vilsack: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, THERE ARE RESOURCES TO ALLOW FOR THE RECRUITMENT AND EXPANSION OF BUSINESSES AND FOCUSED ON THREE CLUSTER AREAS: THE LIFE SCIENCES, INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, AND ADVANCED MANUFACTURING. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT OVER 50,000 JOBS THAT COULD BE CREATED WITH THIS RESOURCE, JOBS THAT WILL GENERATE ABOUT $175 MILLION ANNUALLY FOR THE STATE TREASURY AND WILL SUPPORT FAMILIES ADEQUATELY WITH GOOD WAGES. IN ADDITION TO THAT, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A FUND THAT WILL PROVIDE FOR WORKER RETRAINING. AS WE LOOK AT TRANSITIONING OLD-ECONOMY MANUFACTURING FACILITIES TO NEW-ECONOMY MANUFACTURING, IT'S GOING TO BE NECESSARY FOR EMPLOYEES TO RESKILLED AND RETRAINED. THAT'S WHAT THE WORK FORCE DEVELOPMENT WORKER TRAINING MONEY IS FOR. IN ADDITION TO THAT, THERE ARE ALSO RESOURCES TO ASSIST THE REGENTS UNIVERSITIES IN BUILDING THE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT WILL SUPPORT ADEQUATELY THE LIFE SCIENCES, ALLOW IT TO TAKE ROOT IN THE STATE SO THAT WE CAN CARVE OUT OUR NITCH IN THAT AREA. IN ADDITION TO THAT, THERE IS ALSO RESOURCES FOR PRIMING THE PUMP, IF YOU WILL, OF PHILANTHROPIC ACTIVITIES AND COMMUNITIES ALL ACROSS THIS GREAT STATE. THERE'S A LOT OF GENEROSITY IN IOWANS. THE ENDOW IOWA PROGRAM IS DESIGNED TO TAP THAT. IN ADDITION TO THAT, THERE IS ALSO, IN THE HOUSE PLAN, ADDITIONAL MONEY FOR CULTURE AND RECREATION WITH THE CULTURAL TRUST, THE COMMUNITY ATTRACTIONS AND TOURISM PROGRAM. AND THEN, OF COURSE, THERE IS THE SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION -- THE SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE MONEY. SO THIS IS A BROAD PROGRAM INITIALLY ADDING CONSTRUCTION JOBS THAT ARE THE BEST PAYING JOBS THAT WE HAVE IN MANY SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY, BY PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WITH SOME OF THE REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES, EXPANDING CULTURE AND RECREATION TO ATTRACT THOSE YOUNG PEOPLE TO OUR STATE AND RETAIN THOSE YOUNG PEOPLE, AND THEN PROVIDING MONEY FOR BUSINESS RECRUITMENT AND EXPANSION.

Borg: THIS INVOLVES MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF MONEY. WHO DECIDES WHO GETS WHAT?

Vilsack: WELL, BOTH BILLS THAT HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED, BOTH THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE WOULD LIKE TO PUT TOGETHER A PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP -- A BOARD, IF YOU WILL, WHICH I CERTAINLY AGREE WITH, PATTERNED AFTER OUR NEW ECONOMY COUNCIL THAT WAS PROPOSED A YEAR OR SO AGO. IT RANGES FROM A 9-MEMBER BOARD TO A 17-MEMBER BOARD -- PEOPLE WITH EXPERTISE IN THE LIFE SCIENCES, ADVANCED MANUFACTURING, BUSINESS, HIGHER EDUCATION -- WOULD BASICALLY MAKE A SET OF RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE INVESTMENT OF THESE RESOURCES AND WOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE -- THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT -- WOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE RESULTS. WE DON'T JUST WANT TO SET UP A PROGRAM; WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT PROGRAM DOES WHAT WE SAY IT'S GOING TO DO -- CREATING 50,000 JOBS, GENERATING $175 MILLION OR MORE OF ADDITIONAL STATE REVENUE -- SO THERE'S A DEGREE OF ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE STRUCTURE AS WELL.

Glover: POINT TWO, INCOME TAXES. THE BASIC, BROAD, CONCEPTUAL PROPOSAL HERE IS ELIMINATING MOST DEDUCTIONS, INCLUDING FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY TO LOWER RATES. YOU SAY YOU HAVE TO HAVE A REVENUE NEUTRAL PLAN. THE HOUSE PASSED A PLAN THAT CUTS TAXES BY ABOUT $384 MILLION. IS THERE ANY TAX CUT THAT YOU COULD SIGN?

Vilsack: WE DISCUSSED TODAY USING THE STREAMLINED SALES TAX REVENUE STREAM AS A WAY OF PROVIDING RESOURCES TO BACKFILL REVENUES THAT WOULD BE LOST FROM REDUCING THE RATES. AND I THINK THAT SOMETHING COULD BE WORKED ALONG THOSE LINES OVER THE PERIOD OF A COUPLE OF YEARS THAT WOULD ALLOW OUR RATES, TOGETHER WITH REDUCING AND ELIMINATING FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY, ALLOW OUR RATES TO BECOME MUCH MORE COMPETITIVE. HERE'S THE ISSUE. BUSINESS LEADERS SAY TO ME, LOOK, WE CAN'T RECRUIT GOOD PEOPLE TO THIS STATE BECAUSE THEY TAKE A LOOK ON PAPER AT OUR TAX STRUCTURE AND THEY SAY, GEE, IT'S TOO HIGH A TAX STATE. THEY DON'T KNOW ALL THE INTRICACIES. WE NEED TO SIMPLIFY THE SYSTEM, AND WE CAN DO IT RATHER SIGNIFICANTLY AND DRAMATICALLY. NOW, REPUBLICANS WILL SAY, WELL, WE'RE NOT GOING TO DO AWAY WITH FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY BECAUSE WE'RE REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT RAISING THOSE RATES BACK UP AGAIN. AND MY RESPONSE TO THAT IS, OKAY, MAKE IT A LITTLE BIT MORE DIFFICULT TO RAISE THOSE RATES. THE REALITY IS POLITICIANS ARE NOT REALLY TOO KEEN ON RAISING TAXES, SO MAKE IT DIFFICULT. IF THERE'S A CIRCUMSTANCE THAT DICTATES AND REQUIRES A TAX INCREASE, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE ENOUGH LEGISLATORS WILLING TO DO THAT. THEN THE QUESTION IS WHETHER OR NOT A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IS REQUIRED. I HAVE SUGGESTED THAT RATHER THAN WAITING FOR A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO BE PASSED, ESSENTIALLY DO AWAY WITH FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY NOW, PUT IN PLACE SOME SAFEGUARD TO AVOID RATE CREEP. AND THEN IF YOU WANT A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, PUT IT IN PLAY, AND IF IT DOESN'T PASS, WE CAN GO BACK TO THE OLD WAY.

Glover: SO WHEN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT A TAX BILL BEING REVENUE NEUTRAL, YOU COULD SIGN AN INCOME TAX BILL THAT ACTUALLY REDUCED COLLECTIONS OF INCOME TAXES IF IT'S MADE UP BY OTHER REVENUE SOURCES.

Vilsack: EXACTLY.

Glover: ANY DISCUSSIONS ABOUT -- OTHER THAN EXPANDING -- OR ENFORCING THE SALES TAX ON INTERNET TRANSACTIONS?

Vilsack: THE STREAMLINED SALES TAXES IS ONE VEHICLE. THERE WAS ALSO DISCUSSION ABOUT THE TOBACCO TAX, WHETHER OR NOT THAT WOULD BE USED TO FUND THE PAY-AS-YOU-GO PROGRAM OR WHETHER IT WOULD BE USED FOR TAX -- TAX REDUCTION -- TAX RATE REDUCTION OR A COMBINATION OF THOSE. THERE MAY BE OTHER IDEAS. OTHER IDEAS THAT HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED ARE EXPANDING THE BASE OF THE SALES TAX. NOW, I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH SUPPORT THERE IS FOR THAT, BUT THERE ARE OTHER VEHICLES FOR DOING THAT.

Glover: WE COULD ASK THIS QUESTION ON THIS PIECE OF THE PUZZLE AND ON THE VALUES FUND AND ALL THE OTHER PIECES OF THE PUZZLE, BUT WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? ARE YOU NOT COMMITTED TO HAVING A SPECIAL SESSION NEXT THURSDAY? AND WHAT HAPPENS BETWEEN NOW AND THEN?

Vilsack: WE WILL HAVE A SPECIAL SESSION ON THURSDAY. I'M RAISING THE EXPECTATION IN MY COMMENTS TO LEADERS THAT THEY GET THE JOB DONE AND THEY STAY FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES TO GET THE JOB DONE. I BELIEVE AMONG LEADERS THERE IS THAT COMMITMENT, AND I THINK NOW THEY HAVE TO INSTILL IN THEIR -- IN THEIR CAUCUSES THE SAME DESIRE TO GET THE JOB DONE. WHERE WE GO FROM HERE IS THAT THERE ARE A SERIES OF STEPS THAT WE'RE GOING TO TAKE THIS WEEKEND TO LOOK AT SOME OF THE IDEAS WE DISCUSSED TODAY OVER THE PHONE. WE'RE GOING TO GET BACK BY PHONE ON MONEY, TOUCH BASE. I KNOW THE HOUSE REPUBLICANS WILL BE VISITING ON MONDAY AS WELL, AND THEN WE'LL PROGRESS WITH CONVERSATIONS TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY IN PREPARATION FOR THE THURSDAY SESSION. THERE ARE LOT OF OTHER ISSUES, I MIGHT POINT OUT, THAT CAN BE ADDRESSED AND WILL PROBABLY LIKELY BE ADDRESSED IN THE SPECIAL SESSION.

Yepsen: WE WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT SOME OF THOSE, BUT LET'S FINISH THE WHOLE DEAL CONCEPT. POINT THREE OF IT IS PROPERTY TAX REFORM. NOW, IS THAT GOING TO AMOUNT TO ANYTHING, OR IS THIS JUST GOING TO BE THIS PILOT PROJECT SOMEWHERE?

Vilsack: WELL, THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION IS YES AND YES. YES, IT'S GOING TO AMOUNT TO SOMETHING, BECAUSE IT'S THE START OF LOOKING AND CONSTRUCTING A NEW SYSTEM. IT IS A PILOT PROJECT AT THE BEGINNING, BECAUSE THIS IS A VERY INTRICATE AND COMPLEX SYSTEM AND WE DON'T WANT TO MAKE THE MISTAKE -- WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE'RE RIGHT ABOUT THE CHANGES. IF THE PILOT PROCESS WORKS, THEN IT CAN BE EXPANDED. IF IT'S NOT WORKING, THEN WE NEED TO GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD. BUT I THINK THERE IS A COMMITMENT AND UNDERSTANDING THAT OUR PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE CHANGED AND IT WILL BE CHANGED.

Glover: THE FOURTH PIECE OF THE PUZZLE IS WHAT'S KNOWN IN THE BUZZ UP THERE AS REGULATORY REFORM, EASING REGULATIONS ON BUSINESSES, SOME OF WHICH YOU'VE VETOED IN THE PAST. THIS IS THE LEAST PALATABLE, I SENSE, TO YOU, OF EVERYTHING.

Vilsack: NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.

Glover: SO WHAT CAN YOU SIGN AS PART OF YOUR EFFORT TO COMPROMISE?

Vilsack: WE'VE HAD NEGOTIATIONS AND DISCUSSIONS ABOUT RESTRICTING AND NARROWING WHAT IS REFERRED TO AS THE APPORTIONMENT LANGUAGE. THIS IS THE ISSUE INVOLVING WORKERS WHO ARE HURT MORE THAN ONCE ON THE WORK SITE. AND I THINK WE'VE REACHED AN UNDERSTANDING AND CONSENSUS AS HOW THAT COULD BE NARROWLY CRAFTED TO RESPOND TO A COUPLE OF CASES THAT WERE RECENTLY DECIDED THAT PERHAPS CREATED A STRUCTURE THAT WAS NOT AS SUITABLE FOR BUSINESS AS THEY WOULD LIKE. THERE ARE SOME CHANGES IN THE PUNITIVE DAMAGES SYSTEM AND IN THE CIVIL CONSPIRACY DEFINITIONS AND IN THE BOND THAT YOU POST IF YOU LOSE A CASE THAT CAN BE DONE. THESE ARE THINGS THAT I THINK ARE THE MINIMUM THAT WILL BE DONE AND THAT HAVE BEEN REQUESTED TO BE DONE IN ORDER FOR THE VALUES FUND TO BE APPROVED. NOW, LET ME POINT OUT THAT IN EXCHANGE FOR THOSE, WE WILL BE WORKING TO KEEP THOSE WORK FORCE DEVELOPMENT OFFICES OPEN, 74 OFFICES, MAKING SURE WE HAVE SERVICES TO UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY WITH OUR UNEMPLOYMENT RATE GOING UP. WE'LL BE HAVING MORE OSHA INSPECTORS FOR SAFER WORKPLACES, AND WE WILL ALSO HAVE A WORKERS COMPENSATION COMPLIANCE OFFICER WHO WILL PROVIDE FOR MY SPEEDY PAYMENTS TO INJURED WORKERS SO THAT INSURANCE COMPANIES CAN'T, SORT OF, DELAY AND HOPE THAT PEOPLE WILL SETTLE BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT GETTING THEIR MONEY ON A TIMELY BASIS. SO THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT -- THE REGULATORY ISSUES ARE THINGS I WOULD RATHER NOT DO, BUT I THINK EVERYONE HAS TO RECOGNIZE THAT POLITICS IS THE ART OF COMPROMISE. AND I THINK IF YOU LOOK AT THE TOTAL PICTURE HERE, 50,000 JOBS, $175 MILLION ADDITIONAL REVENUE, AND ALL OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT WE TALKED ABOUT, PLUS SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION, THIS IS MOVING THE STATE FORWARD AND THIS IS, UNFORTUNATELY, A PRICE THAT HAS BEEN ATTACHED --

Borg: YOU USED THE WORD COMPROMISE A MOMENT EARLIER TOO. YOU SAID "IF THE GAMING COMPROMISE IS APPROVED." DOES THAT MEAN YOU'RE GOING TO BE CONSIDERING, IN THIS SPECIAL SESSION, SOME SORT OF COMPROMISE RELATING TO TAXATION OF GAMBLING?

Vilsack: IT'S MY UNDERSTANDING THAT AT LEAST INITIALLY THERE WAS AN ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN HOUSE AND SENATE LEADERS WITH THE GAMING INDUSTRY TO RESOLVE THE LAWSUIT THAT IS CURRENTLY PENDING BEFORE THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT. LATE TODAY THERE WAS SOME INDICATION THAT THERE PERHAPS MAY NOT BE CONSENSUS ON THAT ON THE SENATE SIDE. I WOULD IMAGINE THAT THERE WILL STILL BE CONVERSATIONS AND DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THAT RIGHT UP UNTIL THE END OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION.

Yepsen: GOVERNOR -- GOVERNOR, IN ADDITION TO THE FOUR-PART GROWTH PROGRAM WE'VE TALKED ABOUT AS SOMETHING THAT WILL BE IN THIS SPECIAL SESSION, THE GAMBLING THING THAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE PART OF IT, WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT THIS SPECIAL SESSION TO DO?

Vilsack: WELL, I THINK THAT THERE'S STILL SOME UNANSWERED QUESTIONS RELATIVE TO THE BUDGET. AS WE TAKE A LOOK, FOR EXAMPLE, IN PRISON POPULATION, I THINK I'VE EXPRESSED TO LEGISLATIVE LEADERS A DEEP CONCERN ABOUT THE EVER-INCREASING NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN PRISON. THE FACTS ARE THAT IF WE DON'T RESPOND TO THIS AGGRESSIVELY, WE'LL BE FACED WITH HAVING TO BUILD ANOTHER PRISON AND THE EXPENSE THAT'S ASSOCIATED WITH THAT. THERE IS A WAY IN WHICH WE CAN STRENGTHEN OUR COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTION SYSTEM, A WAY IN WHICH WE CAN PERHAPS EXPAND EDUCATION AND TREATMENT WITHIN THESE FACILITIES THAT WILL HELP US STEM THE INCREASE IN POPULATION. A LOT OF IT STEMS NOT FROM INDIVIDUALS COMMITTING NEW CRIMES BUT FROM INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE CURRENTLY INCARCERATED BEING LET OUT AND THEN SIX MONTHS LATER, EIGHT MONTHS, TWELVE MONTHS LATER, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT PREPARED AS THEY SHOULD BE, THEY GO BACK INTO PRISON. THEIR PAROLE IS REVOKED; THEIR PROBATION IS REVOKED. SO PART OF IT IS ABOUT THAT. I HAVE TOLD LEGISLATIVE LEADERS THAT WE CANNOT LIVE WITH THE SALARY BILL. AND THE FACTS ARE THESE. WE'VE GONE THROUGH THE MOST MAJOR TRANSFORMATION AND REINVENTION OF STATE GOVERNMENT THAT'S TAKEN PLACE, I WOULD ARGUE, IN THE LAST THIRTY YEARS. WE'VE CONSOLIDATED DEPARTMENTS. WE'VE ELIMINATED OFFICES. WE'VE ELIMINATED DIVISIONS. WE'VE ELIMINATED EVEN WHOLE DEPARTMENTS OF STATE GOVERNMENT. ABOUT 10 PERCENT OF OUR WORK FORCE IS GONE. WE HAVE TO HAVE SOME TIME TO STABILIZE THIS SYSTEM TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE PROVIDING THE SERVICES THAT PEOPLE WANT, BECAUSE THE WORKLOAD HAS NOT BEEN DECREASED. AND I'VE SUGGESTED THAT THE 300 TO 400 ADDITIONAL LAYOFFS THAT MIGHT RESULT FROM THE SALARY BILL ARE UNACCEPTABLE. NOW CONGRESS MAY HAVE HELPED US AND ASSISTED US WHEN DEALING WITH THE STIMULUS PACKAGE THAT WAS PASSED. LEGISLATORS MAY FEEL A LITTLE BIT MORE FLEXIBILITY IN PROVIDING RESOURCES, BUT THAT'S AN ISSUE THAT HAS TO BE DEALT WITH.

Yepsen: GOVERNOR, WE GOT JUST A COUPLE MINUTES LEFT AND WE'VE GOT SEVERAL QUESTIONS. ONE IS THE ICN SALE. THERE IS A PROVISION IN ONE OF THE APPROPRIATIONS BILLS THAT'S COMING TO YOU THAT WOULD START THE PROCESS OF SELLING THE IOWA COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK. ARE YOU GOING TO SIGN OR VETO THAT PROVISION?

Vilsack: I WANT TO SAY -- AND THIS IS NOT MEANT AS ANY DISRESPECT FOR THOSE WHO PROPOSED THIS. THE PROPOSAL WAS POORLY DRAFTED AND IT DOES NOT PROVIDE A GUARANTEE, CONTINUED SUBSIDIZATION OF THE ICN FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. AND ABSENT THAT, IT'S NOT REALLY A WELL THOUGHT OUT PROPOSAL. I CAN TELL YOU THAT REALLY WHAT WE OUGHT TO BE TALKING ABOUT IS NOT NECESSARILY THE SALE OR THE PRESERVATION OF THE ICN BUT OF THE WAVELENGTH THAT IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE ICN. JOHN GILLESPIE, WHO IS OUR -- WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THE ICN IS ALSO IN CHARGE OF OUR TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT -- BELIEVES THAT HE CAN SIT DOWN AND HE CAN WORK THROUGH THE ISSUES THAT THE LEGISLATORS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT RELATIVE TO THE OWNERSHIP OF THE ICN AND STILL PRESERVE ENOUGH OF THE WAVELENGTH -- THE BROADBAND TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THE SERVICES THAT IOWANS THINK ARE VERY IMPORTANT AND ARE NECESSARY. I WOULD LIKE TO EXPLORE THAT OPTION BEFORE I'M FORCED TO GO DOWN A PROCESS OF A FORCED SALE. PEOPLE DON'T UNDERSTAND THE VALUE OF THIS IS NOT HIGH RIGHT NOW. THERE ARE SUBSTANTIAL QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE MILITARY'S USE OF THE ICN AND HOW THAT WOULD BE COMPROMISED WITH PRIVATE-SECTOR OWNERSHIP. THIS IS A VERY COMPLEX ISSUE. WHAT WAS DONE I THINK WAS RELATIVELY HASTILY PUT TOGETHER, AND I WANT TO WORK WITH FOLKS WHO WANT TO LOOK AT THIS ISSUE. I JUST DON'T THINK THEY'VE STRUCTURED IT IN THE RIGHT WAY.

Glover: ONE OTHER THING THAT'S AWAITING YOUR DECISION IS THERE'S A BILL THAT AFFECTED THE WAY CITIES AND COUNTIES CAN GO TOGETHER AND MERGE. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THAT BILL?

Vilsack: WELL, THIS IS ONE OF THE BIG FRUSTRATIONS I'VE HAVE WITH THIS SESSION, MIKE, AND FOR THE PAST COUPLE OF SESSIONS. AS A GOVERNOR, I BELIEVE THAT I'VE GOT A ROLE TO PLAY IN THE CRAFTING AND SHAPING OF LEGISLATION THAT'S SUITABLE FOR THE STATE. I BELIEVE I'VE GOT A VOICE, AND I BELIEVE THAT VOICE SHOULD BE LISTENED TO. WHEN THE CHARTER BILL WAS PROPOSED, WHICH IS THE BILL YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT, I SUGGESTED EARLY IN THE PROCESS THAT I HAD A CONCERN ABOUT TAKING AWAY FROM PEOPLE THE RIGHT TO DETERMINE WHETHER THEY'RE --

Borg: I HAVE TO INTERRUPT. I'M SORRY. ONE OF MY FRUSTRATIONS IS THE CLOCK.

Vilsack: OH, OKAY.

Borg: THANK YOU. AS INDICATED EARLIER, GREG GEOFFROY WAS OUR SCHEDULED GUEST TONIGHT, AND WE HAVE RESCHEDULED HIS VISIT TO THE "IOWA PRESS" TABLE FOR JUNE 27. THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH NEXT WEEK: 6:30 FRIDAY, SUNDAY AT NOON. UNTIL 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.