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Senator Stewart Iverson,
Senate Majority Leader with
Representative Chuck Gipp,
Majority Leader in the Iowa House

(#3042)
June 6, 2003

IOWA PRESS #3042 >>

Yepsen: THE IOWA HOUSE AND SENATE HAVE COMPLETED THEIR DELIBERATIONS IN THE SPECIAL SESSION OF 2003, AND THEIR WORK NOW MOVES TO THE DESK OF GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK. WE'LL DISCUSS THE POLICY AND POLITICS OF THIS YEAR'S CALLBACK SESSION WITH SENATOR STEWART IVERSON, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER, AND WITH REPRESENTATIVE CHUCK GIPP, MAJORITY LEADER IN THE IOWA HOUSE, 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 JUNE 6 EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." HERE IS DAVID YEPSEN.

Yepsen: FOR THE TIME BEING, AT LEAST, THE LEGISLATIVE GIVE AND TAKE IS BEHIND US AS IOWA'S 150 ELECTED SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES WRAPPED UP THEIR SPECIAL SESSION ON WEDNESDAY. GOVERNOR VILSACK NOW HAS MEASURES ON HIS DESK THAT MAY OR MAY NOT GET HIS SIGNATURE, BUT THE WRANGLING OVER THE ISSUES AND THE PROCESS WILL CONTINUE. IT'S SAFE TO SAY IN NEGOTIATIONS LIKE THESE, BETWEEN THE EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT, NO ONE GETS A HUNDRED PERCENT OF WHAT THEY WANT, BUT ALL INTERESTED PARTIES GET SOMETHING. AND THAT WAS TRUE OF THE GIVE AND TAKE INSIDE THE LEGISLATURE ITSELF, BETWEEN THE IOWA HOUSE AND IOWA SENATE, ON ISSUES OF ECONOMIC GROWTH IN LAST WEEK'S SESSION. WELL, JOINING US TO DISCUSS THE PARTICULARS ARE SENATOR STEWART IVERSON, A REPUBLICAN FROM DOWS WHO SERVES AS THE MAJORITY LEADER IN THE IOWA SENATE, AND REPRESENTATIVE CHUCK GIPP, A REPUBLICAN FROM DECORAH, WHO IS THE MAJORITY LEADER IN THE IOWA HOUSE. GENTLEMEN, WELCOME ONCE AGAIN TO "IOWA PRESS" AND TO IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION. IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Yepsen: AND ALSO WITH US AT THE "IOWA PRESS" TABLE ARE JENEANE BECK, IOWA STATEHOUSE REPORTER WITH "KUNI PUBLIC RADIO," AND MIKE GLOVER, SENIOR LEGISLATIVE AND POLITICAL REPORTER WITH "THE ASSOCIATED PRESS."

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE GIPP, THERE'S ONE QUESTION THAT'S ON EVERYBODY'S MINDS AT THE STATEHOUSE: WILL THE GOVERNOR SIGN THE PACKAGE THAT YOU SENT HIM? WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON THAT?

Gipp: WELL, IT'S CERTAINLY MY HOPE, MIKE, THAT THE GOVERNOR DOES SIGN THE PACKAGE.

Glover: DO YOU THINK HE WILL?

Gipp: IT'S MY SINCERE HOPE THAT HE DOES, BECAUSE IF HE DOESN'T, THE GOVERNOR HAS REMINDED US IN THE PAST WHAT WON'T HAPPEN IF HE DOESN'T SIGN THESE MEASURES. AND THAT'S STILL OUT THERE. THERE WON'T BE ANY WORK FORCE DEVELOPMENT CENTERS OUT IN RURAL IOWA. THERE WON'T BE ANY CHANGE IN THE INCOME TAX STRUCTURE DOWN THE LINE. THERE WON'T -- WE'LL STILL BE UNDER THE SAME ONEROUS PROPERTY TAX CODE, AND THERE CERTAINLY WON'T BE ANY DOLLARS FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THIS STATE. ALL THOSE MEASURES ARE ADDRESSED IN THIS PACKAGE THAT'S BEFORE US, AND NOW IT'S ON THE GOVERNOR'S DESK. AND AS INDICATED EARLIER, EVERYBODY DIDN'T GET WHAT THEY WANTED BUT EVERYBODY GOT SOMETHING. AND NOW IT'S TIME TO ADDRESS THE PACKAGES IN FRONT OF US, AND IF THERE'S THINGS THAT WE NEED TO CHANGE, THERE'S ALWAYS SIX MONTHS FROM NOW WHEN THE LEGISLATURE WILL BE BACK IN SESSION. WE CAN ADDRESS IT THEN.

Glover: SENATOR IVERSON, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. DO YOU THINK HE'LL SIGN IT?

Iverson: I THINK SO. AND I CERTAINLY ENCOURAGE THE GOVERNOR TO SIGN IT. THE BIGGEST THING IS, AS REPRESENTATIVE GIPP POINTED OUT, ONE, WE DON'T HAVE VERY MUCH MONEY IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT RIGHT NOW. WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IS PUTTING SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS INTO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS. AND SOME OF US FEEL PRETTY STRONGLY THAT THE INCOME TAX CLIMATE, THE REGULATORY CLIMATE ARE ALSO VERY IMPORTANT TO GROW THE STATE OF IOWA. SO I AM HOPEFUL THAT THE GOVERNOR WILL SIGN IT, AND I CERTAINLY AM ENCOURAGING HIM TO DO SO BECAUSE THE OTHER THING THAT I HAVE POINTED OUT BEFORE, WE'RE NOT GOING TO GET ANOTHER SHOT AT THIS. WE'RE NOT GOING TO COME BACK NEXT WEEK OR NEXT MONTH AND CHANGE IT. THIS IS IT.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE GIPP, IT'S EXPECTED THAT THERE WILL BE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR AND A REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE. BUT ONE OF THE DOMINANT THEMES OF THIS SESSION AND THE SPECIAL SESSION WAS DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE. EXPLAIN THAT. WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE? REPUBLICANS IN THE HOUSE SEEM TO TAKE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT VIEW THAN REPUBLICANS IN THE SENATE.

Gipp: WELL, THERE'S 100 PEOPLE IN THE HOUSE, AND THERE'S 50 IN THE SENATE. MY JOB, AS WELL AS SENATOR IVERSON'S JOB, IS TO GET 51 VOTES IN THE HOUSE AND HIS 26 IN THE SENATE. SO THE PERSONALITIES ARE DIFFERENT IN VARIOUS PARTS IN OUR CAUCUSES. IN ORDER TO GET THAT 51, WE HAD TO GO DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS THAN WHAT THEY DID. AND THAT'S JUST BASICALLY IT. IT'S A MATTER OF PERSONALITIES AND HOW PEOPLE VIEW WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO THIS STATE. A NUMBER IN OUR CAUCUS SAW WHAT THE LAST CENSUS SAID. THE LAST CENSUS SAID THAT IOWA IS A SLOW GROWTH STATE, AND WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT ABOUT THAT. SO WE CRAFTED A PACKAGE WE COULD GET 51 VOTES FOR THAT WE THOUGHT WAS GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, AND THAT WAS THE PACKAGE.

Glover: SENATOR IVERSON, WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE? THE SENATE SEEMED MUCH MORE RELUCTANT TO GO ALONG WITH THIS IDEA.

Iverson: THE BIGGEST THING -- I THINK THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE WAS THE BONDING MECHANISM. SOME OF US THAT HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR A FEW YEARS LOOKED AT THE AMOUNT OF DEBT THAT THE STATE HAD, ESPECIALLY IN THE EARLY '90S AND THROUGHOUT THE '80S. WE LOOKED AT THAT AND SAID, "YOU KNOW, IS THIS THE BEST WAY TO GO?" PEOPLE SAID, "WELL, GOSH, IT'S A PERFECT TIME TO BORROW." YES, IT IS A GOOD TIME TO BORROW IF YOU HAVE A WAY TO PAY IT BACK. BUT WHEN WE LOOKED AT IT, AN $800-MILLION PACKAGE THAT COST $1.4 BILLION OVER THE NEXT TWENTY-FOUR YEARS, OUR FOLKS SAID THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. WE WERE ABLE TO WORK OUT THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN US AND COME UP WITH A PACKAGE THAT I THINK IS ACCEPTABLE. IT STILL PUTS ENOUGH MONEY INTO THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SOME OF THE OTHER THINGS. THAT WAS REALLY THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE, I THINK, BETWEEN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE.

Beck: BOTH OF YOU HAVE SAID THAT YOU WOULD LIKE THE GOVERNOR TO SIGN THIS BILL. SENATOR, WHAT FLEXIBILITY DOES HE HAVE? CAN HE VETO ANY SECTIONS OF THESE BILLS? CAN HE KEEP THE FUNDING BUT VETO BUSINESS REGULATION, OR IS IT ALL TIED TOGETHER AND HIS HANDS ARE TIED UP OR DOWN?

Iverson: WELL, WE ACTUALLY PUT EVERYTHING TOGETHER. NOW, PEOPLE HAVE SAID, "GOSH, THE GOVERNOR COULD LINE-ITEM VETO SOME OF THESE THINGS OUT." IF THAT HAPPENS, I THINK IT WOULD BE A SERIOUS MISTAKE FOR THE GOVERNOR'S PART. THE GOVERNOR, I THINK, EITHER NEEDS TO ACCEPT ALL OF IT OR ACCEPT NONE OF IT. THAT'S THE DECISION THAT THE GOVERNOR WILL HAVE TO MAKE. THE WAY WE HAVE CRAFTED THE BILLS, THE LANGUAGE BILL IS ONE, THE APPROPRIATIONS BILL IS ANOTHER, SO THAT HE SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO DO THAT.

Beck: WHEN YOU SAY MISTAKE, DO YOU MEAN POLITICAL MISTAKE?

Iverson: YEAH, I THINK IT WOULD BE A VERY HUGE POLITICAL MISTAKE FOR HIM TO TRY TO DO THAT. HE IS GOING TO BE GOVERNOR FOR THREE MORE YEARS. WHEN WE CRAFTED ALL THIS TOGETHER, IT ALL GOES HAND IN HAND. AND I KNOW REPRESENTATIVE RANTS WENT DOWN TO TALK TO THE GOVERNOR, AND THAT WAS THE QUESTION HE WAS ASKING. THE GOVERNOR WOULDN'T COMMIT ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. BUT I THINK YOU EITHER HAVE TO TAKE IT ALL OR TAKE IT NONE.

Beck: WHAT IS YOUR OPINION? ARE THERE PARTS HE CAN TAKE DOWN AND LEAVE THE REST?

Gipp: WE'RE NOT SURE. THE WAY IT IS IS THAT YOU CAN ITEM VETO IT, BUT WHETHER YOU'D BE TAKEN TO COURT TO CHALLENGE WHETHER YOU ACTUALLY CAN DO THAT IS STILL LEFT UP IN THE AIR. LIKE I SAID BEFORE, WE WOULD ENCOURAGE THE GOVERNOR TO TAKE THIS. IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT MANY MEMBERS IN THE LEGISLATURE ARE ENTHRALLED WITH, BUT IT'S 75 PERCENT OR MORE OF WHAT THEY WANTED. SO WE HOPE THE GOVERNOR WILL SIMPLY TAKE IT THE WAY IT IS AND MOVE FORWARD FROM THERE.

Beck: WHEN YOU SAID "TAKE HIM TO COURT," I'M SORRY -- DOES THAT -- THAT HE WOULD BE TAKEN, BUT IS IT YOU THAT WILL TAKE HIM TO COURT, LEGISLATURE?

Gipp: I SUSPECT THERE'S BEEN CHALLENGE BEFORE IN COURT. IT CERTAINLY WON'T BE INITIATED BY US, BUT THERE MAY BE THAT POSSIBILITY BECAUSE OF THE SEPARATION OF THE EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES AND THE ABILITY OF WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO WITH THE ITEM VETO.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE GIPP, SENATOR IVERSON HAS SAID THAT THIS IS IT, THAT YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GO ANY FURTHER. WHAT HAPPENS IF THE GOVERNOR VETOES THIS PACKAGE AND CALLS YOU BACK TO TRY AGAIN?

Gipp: IF HE CALLS US BACK IN SPECIAL SESSION, WE ARE OBLIGATED TO COME BACK.

Glover: BUT WILL YOU PASS ANYTHING?

Gipp: I WOULD CERTAINLY TRY TO DO SOMETHING BECAUSE, I SAID EARLIER, IF WE DON'T DO ANYTHING, THERE IS NO MONEY FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN THIS STATE. BUT I WOULD HESITATE TO SAY THAT IT WOULD BE ANY USE TO COME BACK IMMEDIATELY TO DO THIS BECAUSE WE'RE ONLY FIVE MONTHS -- SIX MONTHS FROM COMING BACK IN THE REGULAR SESSION.

Yepsen: BUT IF HE WERE TO VETO THIS, REPRESENT GIPP, YOU COULD COME BACK AND JUST APPROPRIATE A FEW MILLION DOLLARS TO RUN THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND THAT'S IT. I MEAN THERE'S NO GUARANTEE THAT ON THE GOVERNOR'S PART HE'S GOING ON GET ANYTHING BETTER?

Gipp: NO, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO GUARANTEE AT ALL. IN FACT, IN COMING BACK, THERE IS NO MONEY TO DO THAT AND STILL ABIDE BY THE THE 99-PERCENT SPENDING LIMITATION. WE PUSHED WITH -- ONE OF THE PARTS OF THIS PACKAGE WAS TO APPROPRIATE ADDITIONAL $5.5 MILLION THAT CAME ABOUT BECAUSE OF SUCCESSFUL LAWSUITS THAT BROUGHT SOME UNEXPECTED MONEY AND STILL LOBBYIST KEEP WITHIN THE 99-PERCENT SPENDING LIMITATION. THE NEW MONEY THAT GO INTO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IS THROUGH DOLLARS THAT COME FROM THE FEDERAL STIMULUS PACKAGE, WHICH WE ARE APPROPRIATING IMMEDIATELY TO ACTUALLY PROVIDE A STIMULUS HERE IN THE STATE.

Beck: SENATOR, I HAD A REPRESENTATIVE TELL ME THE LAST DAY OF THE HOUSE'S LEGISLATIVE SESSION THAT THERE WASN'T ENOUGH MONEY IN THIS BILL FOR SCHOOLS, THE SMALLER SCHOOLS THAT DON'T HAVE THE OPTION OF THE ONE-CENT SALES TAX, TO STOP THE LAWSUIT FROM GOING FORWARD, THAT HE EXPECTED THAT LAWSUIT TO CONTINUE. DO YOU? AND WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT THAT IF IT DOES?

Iverson: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, THE LAWSUIT MAY GO FORWARD. I DON'T KNOW. WE CERTAINLY DON'T MAKE THAT DETERMINATION. I SPENT FIFTEEN YEARS ON A SCHOOL BOARD, AND I STILL FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT US IN THE LOCAL AREAS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BUILDING. A GREAT DEAL OF THE MONEY FOR THE PROGRAMMING COMES FROM STATE TAXPAYERS ASSISTANCE. I WAS OPPOSED TO THE LOCAL OPTION SALES TAX FIVE YEARS AGO. I STILL AM. WHETHER OR NOT THE CASE IS SUCCESSFUL OR NOT I DON'T THINK IS GOING TO BE DETERMINED BY US AT ALL. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, WE ARE PUTTING 125 -- POTENTIAL $125 MILLION FOR LOCAL SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE, WHICH IS A HUGE AMOUNT. I KNOW THE HOUSE BILL HAD 250 IN IT BUT, YOU KNOW, IF YOU GET HALF A BITE OF THE APPLE, IT'S A LOT BETTER THAN ZERO.

Beck: YOU STARTED WITH MORE THAN 250 THOUGH. YOU WANTED UP TO 400 MILLION.

Gipp: WELL, THAT'S CORRECT. IN ORDER TO -- WHAT WE FELT WAS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO GET THE LAWSUIT TO GO AWAY AND PROVIDE THE EQUITY WAS ABOUT $450 MILLION. HOWEVER, WE ALSO REALIZED THAT $125 MILLION IS FAR BETTER THAN NONE. THE REASON THE HOUSE WAS SO CONCERNED ABOUT SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE IS WE DIDN'T FIGURE IT WAS ENOUGH JUST TO PROVIDE INCENTIVES FOR BUSINESSES. WE NEED TO PROVIDE SOME INCENTIVES FOR THE PEOPLE THAT ARE GOING TO FILL THOSE JOBS. THE THINGS THAT THEY DEMAND IS SOMETHING TO DO AFTER FIVE O'CLOCK AT NIGHT AND A GOOD SCHOOL TO GO TO FOR THEIR KIDS. OTHERWISE THEY'RE NOT COMING HERE.

Yepsen: MR. GIPP, I WANT TO FOLLOW UP WITH YOU ON ONE POINT YOU JUST MADE. YOU SAID YOU'RE USING THE ECONOMIC STIMULUS -- FEDERAL ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE MONEY TO FUND THIS THING. LAST WEEK CONGRESSMAN STEVE KING, A REPUBLICAN, AND SENATOR TOM HARKIN, A GOOD DEMOCRAT, BOTH SAID YOU CAN'T DO THAT WITH THIS MONEY. ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT ANOTHER LAWSUIT CHALLENGING THE RIGHT OF THE LEGISLATURE TO TRY TO USE THIS STIMULUS PACKAGE MONEY, OR WERE YOU ABLE TO CRAFT THE LEGISLATION IN SUCH A WAY THAT THAT WON'T HAPPEN.

Gipp: NO, ABSOLUTELY WE'RE NOT WORRIED ABOUT THAT AT ALL. THESE DOLLARS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO GO TO NEW PROGRAMS. AND IF THE NEW PROGRAM THAT WE'RE PUTTING TOGETHER, THIS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN, DOESN'T WITHSTAND THAT, WE CAN COME BACK NEXT YEAR AND WE CAN SIMPLY TAKE THE MONEY OUT OF THE GENERAL FUND, $100 MILLION OUT OF THE GENERAL FUND, AND THEN PUT THIS MONEY INTO THE GENERAL FUND. SO IT'S JUST A SHELL GAME THAT HAS TO BE PLAYED IN ORDER TO QUALIFY, BECAUSE THERE'S VERY LITTLE RESTRICTIONS ON THIS MONEY.

Glover: SENATOR IVERSON, ONE ISSUE THAT YOU COULD FACE BEFORE THE NEXT LEGISLATIVE SESSION IS A LAWSUIT THAT'S BEEN FILED OVER THE WAY THE STATE TAXES THE GAMBLING INDUSTRY. THAT'S BEEN CHALLENGED BY SOME CASINO OPERATORS. THE CASE IS BEFORE THE U.S. SUPREME COURT. I KNOW YOU THINK THE STATE IS LIKELY TO PREVAIL ON THAT CASE, BUT WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU LOSE?

Iverson: WELL, I THINK WE HAVE TO GO BEYOND WHETHER WE WIN OR LOSE. I THINK, FIRST OF ALL, WHAT THE IOWA SUPREME COURT DID, MANY STATES -- I THINK THERE WAS TEN STATES THAT FILED A BRIEF ON BEHALF OF THE STATE OF IOWA AND THE SOLICITOR GENERAL, WHICH GOES BACK TO CONSTITUTIONALITY: DOES IT INFRINGE UPON THE LEGISLATORS' ABILITY TO SET THE TAX RATES? THAT'S WHAT THIS IS ABOUT. IS THERE PLUSES OR MINUSES BOTH WAYS? ABSOLUTELY. AND WHATEVER THE OUTCOME IS FROM THE U.S. SUPREME COURT, YOU KNOW, WE'LL BE DISCUSSING THAT AND WORKING THAT OUT. IF THE STATE OF IOWA WINS, I THINK WE STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT. IF THE STATE OF IOWA LOSES, WE STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT.

Glover: BUT IF THE STATE LOSES THAT LAWSUIT, YOU HAVE A BIG HOLE IN YOUR BUDGET. DON'T YOU, IN FACT, HAVE TO COME BACK TO FIX THAT BEFORE THE NEXT SESSION?

Iverson: WELL, WE COULD COME BACK TO FIX THAT. THAT'S IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE BUDGET, WHICH WE ACTUALLY DID TAKE SOME MONEY OUT OF ANOTHER POT TO TAKE CARE OF SOME OF THAT. BUT WE PROBABLY WOULD HAVE TO COME BACK. MAYBE IT'S BEFORE THE NEXT SESSION, MAYBE NOT.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE GIPP, SAME QUESTION TO YOU. THE LAWSUIT BASICALLY PUNCHED A HOLE -- OR THE STATE SUPREME COURT DECISION BASICALLY PUNCHED A PRETTY BIG HOLE IN THE STATE'S BUDGET. IF THAT'S THE DIRECTION THE SUPREME COURT TAKES, DON'T YOU HAVE TO COME BACK AND FIX THAT?

Gipp: WELL, I THINK IT'S MOST DEFINITELY WE HAVE TO, BECAUSE A LOT OF THE GAMBLING DOLLARS NOW GOES INTO GENERAL-FUND TYPE EXPENDITURES. IF YOU REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED DURING THIS SESSION WHEN THAT LAWSUIT -- WHEN THE COURT RULED AT THAT TIME, IT TOOK AWAY SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS OUT OF THE ENVIRONMENT FIRST FUND, WHICH BASICALLY SHUT DOWN A LOT OF OUR SOIL CONSERVATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS. SO WE TOOK MONEY OUT OF THE CASH RESERVE TO REPLACE THAT AT THE TIME. WE FEEL VERY CONFIDENT WE'RE GOING TO PREVAIL AT THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT LEVEL, BUT THEN IT WOULD GET KICKED BACK DOWN TO THE IOWA SUPREME COURT. AND WHAT THEY DO WILL DETERMINE WHAT HAPPENS. I CAN UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE WHERE THE SENATE IS COMING FROM IN WANTING THE U.S. SUPREME COURT TO RULE. AND THAT WILL -- AND HOPEFULLY THAT WILL SUBSTANTIATE THE STATE IS RIGHT IN THEIR RULES IN ALLOWING DIFFERENT TAXATIONS AND THE RESPONSIBILITY IT TOOK. HOPEFULLY AFTER THEY RULE, WE WILL IMMEDIATELY BE CALLED IN TO TAKE CARE OF THIS GAMBLING ISSUE, AND I PREVAIL ON THE GOVERNOR TO DO THAT. SO BEFORE IT GETS TO THE IOWA SUPREME COURT, ONCE WE GET THE RULING, IT WILL BE NECESSARY THAT WE TAKE CARE OF THIS RESPONSIBILITY.

Yepsen: DO YOU AGREE WITH SENATOR IVERSON YOU HAVE TO COME BACK ON ALMOST UNDER ANY SCENARIO?

Gipp: I THINK WE NEED TO SO THAT WE CAN FASHION THAT -- YOU KNOW, IF WE LOSE THIS THING, WE HAVE $150 MILLION THAT'S HANGING OUT THERE. WE SIMPLY CAN'T AFFORD TO HAVE $150-MILLION HOLE IN OUR BUDGET.

Yepsen: WHY DIDN'T YOU DEAL WITH THIS WHILE YOU WERE BACK FOR THIS SPECIAL SESSION?

Gipp: THE REASON IT WAS NOT DONE, IS THE SENATE -- I CONCURRED WITH THE SENATE THAT IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE GET THE U.S. SUPREME COURT DECLARATION THAT THE STATE IS WITHIN ITS RIGHTS. IT'S A STATES RIGHTS ISSUE, AND ONE THEY RULE ON THAT, IF WE WIN THAT, THEN WE CAN GO ON IMMEDIATELY.

Glover: BUT YOU HAD A DEAL. YOU HAD A DEAL ON THE TABLE THAT GOT 94 VOTES IN THE HOUSE THAT WOULD HAVE SOLVED THIS PROBLEM AND MADE IT GO AWAY.

Gipp: YES, WE DID. WE HAD THAT AND ACTUALLY SOMEBODY TOOK ME TO TASK AND SAID, "I THOUGHT THAT YOU SAID WE WEREN'T GOING TO HAVE A GAMBLING DEBATE IN THIS SESSION." AND I SAID "NO, I SAID WE WEREN'T GOING TO HAVE A GAMBLING 'BILL' IN THIS SESSION." [ LAUGHTER ]

Glover: SENATOR IVERSON, THERE WAS A DEAL THAT WOULD HAVE MADE THIS WHOLE THING GO AWAY. IT PASSED OVERWHELMINGLY IN THE HOUSE. WHY DIDN'T THE SENATE TAKE IT UP?

Iverson: WELL, TWO REASONS. ONE, WE WANT THE U.S. SUPREME COURT TO RULE BECAUSE IT IS AN ISSUE OF CONSTITUTIONALITY BETWEEN THE COURT AND THE LEGISLATURE. AND THE OTHER THING WAS, QUITE FRANKLY, THAT THE HOUSE BILL THAT PASSED PUT THE TRACKS AT 20 PERCENT, WHICH WE FOUND UNACCEPTABLE.

Yepsen: SENATOR IVERSON, I WANT TO DO WHAT ROSS PEROT ALWAYS TALKS ABOUT AND GET IN UNDER THE HOOD. LET'S LOOK AT ALL -- THIS PACKAGE YOU PASSED LAST WEEK HAD FOUR BIG PIECES TO IT: A VALUES FUND, AN INCOME TAX CUT, PROPERTY TAX REFORM, AND REGULATORY REFORM. LET'S TALK ABOUT THE FUND ITSELF. YOU SET ASIDE ABOUT $45 MILLION IN THIS FUND. THE TRANS OVA PEOPLE IN NORTHWEST IOWA WANT $33 MILLION FOR THEIR LITTLE DEAL. SO ISN'T ONE DEAL JUST GOING TO EAT UP MOST OF WHAT YOU DID?

Iverson: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, THE TRANS OVA SITUATION IS SPREAD OUT OVER A FEW YEARS. IT'S NOT $33 MILLION THE FIRST YEAR. BUT THE IMPORTANT THING IS WE DIDN'T SET UP FOR ANY SPECIAL ORGANIZATION OR SPECIAL COMPANY. THE BOARD IS GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE A LOOK AT THAT AND MAKE THOSE DECISIONS. SO I THINK THIS CAN BE SPREAD OUT OVER A PERIOD OF TIME. AND THE GOVERNOR AND I HAVE HAD THIS DISCUSSION MANY TIMES. LET'S SAY THERE'S A COMPANY THAT YOU FEEL VERY STRONGLY ABOUT THAT YOU WANT TO HELP THAT YOU WANT TO GIVE, LET'S SAY, $10 MILLION TO. WELL, DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO GIVE THEM TEN MILLION DOLLARS ON DAY ONE OR A MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR FOR TEN YEARS OR TWO MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR FOR FIVE YEARS? I THINK IT CAN BE STRUCTURED DIFFERENTLY. SO THAT'S WHERE THE BIG DIFFERENCE WAS. WHERE THE GOVERNOR WANTED TO PUT ALL THE MONEY UP FRONT, WE'RE SPACING IT OUT OVER A PERIOD OF TIME.

Yepsen: MR. GIPP, IS THIS THING BIG ENOUGH? I MEAN YOU'VE GOT A $90-BILLION ECONOMY, YOU'VE GOT A $45-MILLION FUND. NOT TOO BIG; IS IT?

Gipp: WELL, IT PROBABLY ISN'T BUT $503 MILLION IS A LOT OF MONEY.

Yepsen: BUT THAT'S OVER TEN YEARS. WHO KNOWS WHAT HAPPENS IN FIVE YEARS?

Gipp: THAT'S CORRECT.

Yepsen: WE'RE TALKING ABOUT NEXT YEAR.

Gipp: THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT.

Yepsen: $62 MILLION -- $45 MILLION IS FOR THE FUND.

Gipp: THAT'S CORRECT. AND IF THIS IS AS SUCCESSFUL AS THE PROPONENTS SAY IT IS, THE LEGISLATURE IS GOING TO BE TRIPPING ALL OVER ITSELF NEXT YEAR TO FIND MORE MONEY. SO MY RECOMMENDATION IS WE SIGN THIS BILL AS IT IS TODAY, GET IT ON THE BOOKS. AND IF THE ADVOCATES FIND IT IS SUCCESSFUL, IF THE GOVERNOR FINDS IT SUCCESSFUL, WE'RE GOING TO FIND THE MONEY NEXT YEAR. THAT'S MY HISTORY IN THE PAST WITH THE INFRASTRUCTURE DOLLARS IS GET IT ON THE BOOKS AND YOU MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AS YOU GO ALONG.

Beck: REPRESENTATIVE GIPP, PART OF THE PLAN WAS AN INCOME TAX CUT, ABOUT $300 MILLION. I KNOW THAT THERE WERE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE CONCERNED WITH WHETHER THAT WAS AFFORDABLE FOR THE STATE. AND ALSO YOU STOPPED -- YOU FROZE THE PHASEOUT OF THE UTILITY TAX, WHICH MANY PEOPLE SAY HELPS LOWER INCOME FAMILIES, IN FAVOR AN INCOME TAX CUT, WHICH MIGHT HELP HIGHER INCOME FAMILIES.

Gipp: WELL, THE WHOLE THOUGHT ABOUT THE INCOME TAX SITUATION WAS MAKING OUR IOWA INCOME TAX MORE OPTICALLY APPEALING FOR THOSE PEOPLE LOOKING TO COME INTO IOWA. AND THAT'S WHAT IT WAS ATTEMPTED TO DO. AS FAR AS THE INCOME TAX CUT, THAT COMES IN YEAR 2007. MAYBE IT COMES IN 2007 AND 2008. A LOT WILL DEPEND ON WHAT HAPPENS. WE HAVE A REVENUE ESTIMATING CONFERENCE, WHICH WE KNOW THAT HISTORICALLY HASN'T BEEN ABLE TO ACCURATELY PREDICT WHAT HAPPENS TWO YEARS OUT, LET ALONE THREE YEARS OUT. SO I THINK THE SAME THING CAN BE SAID ABOUT THIS INCOME TAX CUT. ONE THING WE KNOW FOR SURE ABOUT THE INCOME TAX CUT, IT IS REVENUE NEUTRAL IN THE FIRST TWO YEARS. SO THERE WILL BE NO LOSS OF REVENUE IN THOSE FIRST TWO YEARS.

Beck: SENATOR, HE SAID SO THAT IT'S MORE OPTICALLY PLEASING FOR PEOPLE THAT LOOK AT OUR TAX RATE. BUT PART OF THE PROBLEM HAS ALWAYS BEEN FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY THAT MAKES OUR TAX RATE LOOK HIGHER, AND YOU DON'T GET RID OF THAT FOR SEVERAL YEARS. WHY NOT?

Iverson: WELL, THE BIGGEST THING IS IT TAKES AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF MONEY TO GET RID OF FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY AND TO MOVE IT IN. THAT'S WHY WE'VE STRUCTURED IT OVER FOUR YEARS, SO THAT THE FIRST TWO YEARS ARE REVENUE NEUTRAL. BY THEN, WITH THE ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE THAT WE HAVE PUT TOGETHER AND THE JOBS THAT ARE GOING TO BE CREATED, WE'LL HAVE MORE REVENUE COMING IN TO BE ABLE TO ABSORB THIS AND STILL MAKE OUR EXPANSES THE WAY WE NEED TO.

Glover: SENATOR, HELP ME OUT HERE. REPRESENTATIVE GIPP JUST SAID THE REVENUE ESTIMATING CONFERENCE CAN'T ACCURATELY PREDICT TWO YEARS OUT, BUT YOU'RE PREDICTING RIGHT NOW FOUR YEARS FROM NOW THERE'S GOING TO BE MORE MONEY AND MORE JOBS BECAUSE OF THIS PACKAGE.

Iverson: I THINK FOUR YEARS FROM NOW, YES. AND IT'S NOT JUST BECAUSE OF THIS PACKAGE, BUT I THINK THE ECONOMY IS STARTING TO SWING AROUND A LITTLE BIT. WE'RE SEEING THAT IN REVENUES RIGHT NOW, WE'RE ACTUALLY RUNNING AHEAD OF EXPECTATIONS CURRENTLY. AND I THINK WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE HISTORY, WE ALWAYS HAVE UPS AND DOWNS IN THE ECONOMY. AND I THINK WE WILL HAVE MORE REVENUE IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS, AND I THINK THAT WE'LL BE ABLE TO HANDLE THAT. BUT THE BIGGEST THING IS IOWA IS ONE OF ONLY SEVEN STATES THAT HAVE FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY. AND WHEN COMPANIES LOOK AT US, THEY'LL SAY, "GOSH, YOU KNOW, YOU LOOK LIKE YOU HAVE A HIGH TAX RATE AT 8.98." A LOT OF THEM DON'T GO FARTHER TO SEE THAT WE HAVE FEDERAL DEDUCTIBILITY AND IT DOES BRING THE TAX RATE DOWN. SO A LOT OF THAT IS PERCEPTION.

Glover: WE HAVE BUSINESS PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO THE TAXES LOOKING AT IOWA --

Iverson: WE HAVE -- WE HAVE MANY PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY THAT, WHEN THEY LOOK AT STATES, THEY JUST GIVE A FIRST BLUSH AND MOVE ON.

Yepsen: SENATOR, YOU'VE PREDICATED THIS INCOME TAX PACKAGE ON THE EVENTUAL VOTER APPROVAL OF A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT THAT SOMEHOW RESTRICTS THE ABILITY OF LEGISLATORS AND GOVERNORS TO RAISE TAXES. NEXT YEAR YOU HAVE TO DECIDE WHAT'S GOING IN THAT AMENDMENT. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE IN THAT CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT: A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE TO RAISE TAX RATES; A 60-PERCENT MAJORITY OF THE LEGISLATURE; SOMETHING ELSE?

Iverson: WELL, THERE'S ACTUALLY -- OUR CAUCUS IS KIND OF SPLIT RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE RIGHT NOW. WHETHER IT'S A 60-PERCENT VOTE OF THE LEGISLATURE OR A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE. QUITE FRANKLY, WE HAVEN'T GOT THAT ONE TAKEN CARE OF YET.

Yepsen: MR. GIPP, DO HOUSE MEMBERS HAVE A PREFERENCE WHAT THEY WANT TO SEE? YOU'VE GOT TO MOVE AN AMENDMENT FOR SURE NEXT YEAR.

Gipp: WE HAVEN'T EVEN ASKED THAT DISCUSSION ON WHICH WAY THEY'D PREFER TO GO, SO THAT'S ONE OF THOSE BILLS THAT WILL COME UP NEXT YEAR.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE GIPP, ANOTHER PIECE OF THIS PACKAGE WAS A PILOT PROJECT TO BEGIN LOOKING AT REPLACING THE STATE'S PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE FROM THIS PILOT PROJECT, AND DO YOU EXPECT THAT SYSTEM TO EVENTUALLY GO ON THE BOOKS?

Gipp: WELL, I CERTAINLY HOPE SO. I DON'T SEE HOW WE CAN POSSIBLY CONTINUE TO HAVE THE PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM THAT WE CURRENTLY HAVE, A PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM WHICH FORCES PEOPLE OUT OF THEIR HOME JUST BECAUSE THE NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE DOWN THE BLOCK WOUND UP SELLING FOR MORE. THEN, YOU HAVE A COUPLE THAT'S MAYBE BEEN THERE FOR THIRTY YEARS AND THEIR PROPERTY TAXES ARE UNAFFORDABLE AND THEY HAVE TO MOVE OUT. WE CAN'T CONTINUE TO HAVE A PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM THAT PENALIZES PEOPLE FOR IMPROVING THEIR PROPERTY. SO I'M CERTAINLY HOPEFUL THAT THE PILOT PROJECT WILL SHOW THAT GOING TO THE SQUARE-FOOT BASIS OR VALUE -- PUT A VALUE ON THE SQUARE-FOOT BASIS IS SOMETHING WE GO TO SO THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTAND WHAT PROPERTY TAX THEY'RE PAYING AND WHY THEY'RE PAYING THEM AND WHO THEY'RE PAYING THEM TO. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE PROPOSING TO DO.

Glover: SENATOR IVERSON, SOME CRITICS OF THIS PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM, PRIMARILY LOCAL GOVERNMENT PEOPLE WHO BENEFIT FROM PROPERTY TAX COLLECTIONS, ARGUE THAT THIS ERODES THE REVENUE BASIS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND PREVENTS THEM FROM COLLECTING THE MONEY THEY NEED TO PROVIDE NEEDED SERVICES, SUCH AS PUBLIC SAFETY. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT?

Iverson: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, IT DOESN'T ERODE THE BASE. THE FIRST THING THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN -- THIS IS ONLY GOING TO BE A PILOT PROJECT FOR A FEW YEARS. SO WE'LL SEE IF IT WORKS, IF IT NEEDS SOME TWEAKING OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. THE DIFFERENCE IS YOU CANNOT RAISE THE PROPERTY TAXES JUST BECAUSE YOUR ASSESSMENT WENT UP. IF YOU WANT TO RAISE PROPERTY TAXES, THEN WE ACTUALLY HAVE TO VOTE TO RAISE THOSE PROPERTY TAXES. IF IT'S $2 A THOUSAND AND YOU WANT TO RAISE THEM ANOTHER 50 CENTS, THEN THE ENTITY ACTUALLY HAS TO VOTE TO RAISE IT 50 CENTS. BECAUSE THE WAY IT IS RIGHT NOW, YOUR ASSESSMENT GOES UP AND YOU HEAR, "WELL GOSH, WE LEFT THE PROPERTY TAX THE SAME." WELL, THE MILLAGE MAY BE THE SAME BUT IT BRINGS IN MORE MONEY BUT IT'S OFF THE ASSESSMENT.

Yepsen: BUT HOW DO YOU ANSWER THE CRITICISM OF THIS THAT'S MADE BY PEOPLE, THE DEVELOPERS AND PEOPLE IN THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY, THAT YOU'RE REALLY GOING TO DISCOURAGE PEOPLE FROM SELLING THEIR HOMES AND BUYING UP, THAT IF YOU'VE GOT YOUR PROPERTY TAX AND YOUR TAXES ARE FROZEN, THEY'LL NEVER CHANGE UNLESS YOU BUY A NEW HOUSE, ERGO, NO ONE HAS AN INCENTIVE TO BUY A NEW HOME.

Iverson: THAT'S EXACTLY WHY THIS IS BEING DONE AS A PILOT PROJECT IN A FEW COUNTIES. LET'S SEE IF THIS WORKS. WE'VE GOT SOME TIME TO WORK WITH THIS, AND THE LEGISLATURE HAS TO COME BACK AND SAY, "WELL, GOSH, THERE IS WORKING, WE'RE GOING TO PROCEED" OR, "GOSH, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE SOME CHANGES" OR "THIS IS NOT WORKING, WE'RE NOT GOING TO PROCEED." THAT'S A DECISION THAT THE LEGISLATURE WILL MAKE IN A FEW YEARS.

Beck: REPRESENTATIVE GIPP, THE OTHER COMPONENT OF THIS WAS EASING SOME REGULATIONS FOR BUSINESSES. AND THERE ARE GROUPS LIKE THE TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION THAT COMPLAINED THAT YOU ARE GOING TO LET MALEFICENCE COME IN AND YOU'VE CREATED MORE JOBS BUT YOU'VE BROUGHT IN BAD EMPLOYERS WITH THIS. HOW DO YOU ANSWER THAT?

Gipp: WELL, I DON'T -- I SAY -- WELL, I CAN'T SAY WHAT I'D LIKE TO SAY. I JUST SIMPLY DON'T AGREE WITH THAT AT ALL. THOSE OF US IN THE LEGISLATURE ACTUALLY WENT OUT AND WE TALKED TO BUSINESS PEOPLE THAT HADN'T EXPANDED OR WHY THEY HAD MOVED OUT OF IOWA. AND SOME OF THE THINGS THAT THEY TOLD US IS NOW INCORPORATED IN THIS BILL: BECAUSE WE HAVE AN UNFRIENDLY WORKING CLIMATE HERE, A REGULATORY CLIMATE, WHETHER IT BE THE WORKMAN'S COMPENSATION RATES THEY HAVE TO PAY OR LAWSUITS AND THOSE TYPES OF THINGS. THOSE THAT ARE SAYING THAT WORKERS ARE NOT GOING TO BE COMPENSATED FOR THEIR INJURIES ON THE JOB ARE SIMPLY INACCURATE, BECAUSE COMPENSATORY LAWS ARE IN PLACE. WHAT THIS PIECE OF LEGISLATION DOES IS MAKES A HIGHER STANDARD TO PROVE PUNITIVE DAMAGES. AND THE QUESTION TO ASK THE IOWA TRIAL LAWYERS IS WHERE THE PUNITIVE DAMAGE GO TO? DO THEY ACTUALLY GO TO THE INJURED WORKER, OR DO THEY GO TO THE LAWYER TRYING THE CASE? SO I THINK IT'S A LITTLE BIT SELF-SERVING ON THEIR PART TO DEMEAN WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS BILL AND SAYING IT'S GOING TO RESULT IN LACK OF COMPENSATION FOR WORKERS, BECAUSE THAT'S SIMPLY NOT THE CASE.

Glover: SENATOR IVERSON, LET'S MAKE A COUPLE OF ASSUMPTIONS, IF WE COULD OUT HERE. LET'S ASSUME THE GOVERNOR DOES WHATEVER HE DOES WITH THE PACKAGE THAT'S SITTING ON HIS DESK BUT YOU DON'T COME BACK IN SPECIAL SESSION; WHAT IS LAYING ON THE TABLE FOR NEXT YEAR?

Iverson: I THINK THE BIGGEST THING FOR NEXT YEAR, I KNOW THERE WILL BE A FEW TWEAKS THAT HAVE TO BE MADE. IF THE GOVERNOR SIGNS THIS BILL, THERE WILL BE -- THERE ALWAYS IS. THE BUDGET, I WILL TELL YOU WE'RE NOT GOING TO SET THE BAR AS HIGH AS WE DID THIS YEAR.

Glover: WELL, WAS THAT A MISTAKE TO TACKLE AS MUCH AS YOU DID?

Iverson: IN SOME RESPECTS IT WAS, MIKE, BUT IN OTHERS, IT WAS NOT. BECAUSE IF YOU SET THE BAR HERE, YOU'LL GET TO HERE. BUT IF YOU SET THE BAR UP HERE, YOU MAY NOT GET WAY UP THERE BUT YOU'LL GET CLOSER TO IT. AND I THINK THE BAR THAT WE ALL SET FOR OURSELVES WAS PROBABLY TOO HIGH, BUT WE DID ACCOMPLISH THE THINGS THAT WE SET OUT TO ACCOMPLISH. SO IT'S ONE OF THOSE ISSUES THAT IF YOU DON'T HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS, YOU DON'T GET ANYTHING.

Glover: REPRESENTATIVE GIPP, THE SAME QUESTION TO YOU. LET'S ASSUME THE LEGISLATURE DOESN'T COME BACK INTO SPECIAL SESSION. WHAT'S LAYING ON THE TABLE FOR NEXT YEAR?

Gipp: I THINK EVERYTHING THAT WAS ON THE TABLE THIS YEAR IS ON THE TABLE NEXT YEAR, ESPECIALLY IF THE GOVERNOR DOESN'T VETO THIS, BECAUSE WE STILL HAVE THE STAGNANT ECONOMY WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH. AND EVEN -- AND IF HE DOES SIGN THE BILLS THE WAY THEY ARE, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A LOT OF REFINEMENTS TO DO BECAUSE THAT'S AN ONGOING PROCESS. IN ADDITION TO THAT, THERE'S OTHER ISSUES THAT THE LEGISLATURE DID NOT TACKLE THIS YEAR. THERE'S THE SENTENCING REFORM. WE STILL HAVE A BURDENSOME PRISON POPULATION, ALBEIT, FALLING AS WE SPEAK. THERE'S DOWN 200 FROM MARCH, OUR PRISON POPULATION. WE HAVE A WIND ENERGY BILL THAT'S OUT THERE. WE DID SOMETHING FOR MAJOR ENERGY PRODUCERS IN ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, AND NOW WE HAVE THE SMALL PRODUCERS. IT'S A BILL THAT CAME OVER. WE DIDN'T DEAL WITH IT IN SPECIAL SESSION BECAUSE THERE WAS STILL A LOT OF QUESTIONS FROM THE UTILITY PEOPLE ON WHETHER THAT WAS A GOOD THING TO DO. WE THINK THAT IT IS SOMETHING THAT'S GOOD TO DO, BUT WE'LL TAKE CARE OF IT NEXT SESSION.

Glover: YOU MENTIONED SENTENCING REFORM. THE ISSUE IS SOME PEOPLE SAY THAT IOWA'S PRISON POPULATION IS GROWING FAR TOO FAST BECAUSE ITS LAWS ARE SKEWED AND THEY WANT TO CHANGE THE LAWS TO SEND FEWER PEOPLE TO PRISON. BUT CRITICS SAY THAT THE DEMOGRAPHICS IN THE STATE ARE SOLVING THAT PROBLEM FOR YOU, THAT AS A POPULATION GROWS OLDER, THE CRIME-COMMITTING POPULATION SHRINKS. IS THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF THE SITUATION HANDLING IT?

Gipp: THAT MAY BE THE CASE BUT, IN SPITE OF THAT, I THINK WE NEED TO DISCUSS THIS SENTENCING REFORM ISSUE, BECAUSE YOU HAVE PEOPLE OUT THERE RUNNING AROUND THE STATE SAYING THAT THE STATE COULD SAVES $60 MILLION BY SIMPLY HAVING SENTENCING REFORM, AND I DON'T AGREE WITH THOSE FIGURES WHATSOEVER. BUT UNTIL YOU DISCUSS AND EXPOSE THAT THAT'S NOT THE CASE, YOU STILL HAVE PEOPLE SAYING THAT. SO WE NEED TO LOOK AT THIS ISSUE AND FIND OUT WHY WE'RE HAVING EXPLODING PRISON POPULATION AND THEN DEAL WITH IT.

Yepsen: SENATOR IVERSON, TO FOLLOW UP ON THAT, YOU MENTIONED YOU MIGHT HAVE TO DO SOME TWEAKS NEXT YEAR IF THE GOVERNOR SIGNS THIS. WHAT ABOUT THINGS LIKE REPRESENTATIVE GIPP HAS DISCUSSED? ARE YOU INTERESTED IN SENTENCING REFORM IN THE SENATE NEXT YEAR? ARE YOU INTERESTED IN WIND ENERGY IN THE SENATE? ARE THERE OTHER THINGS THAT YOU'RE LOOKING AT FOR NEXT YEAR?

Iverson: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, WE HAVE PASSED A WIND ENERGY BILL, AND THE HOUSE HAS THAT NOW. SENTENCING REFORM, YES, IT IS AN ISSUE THAT WE HAVE OUR FOLKS WORKING ON. THE BIGGEST THING IS -- AND I THINK WE ALL AGREE -- TO MAKE SURE WE KEEP THE DANGEROUS CRIMINALS BEHIND BARS. AND IS THERE ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF DOING OTHER THINGS? YES, I THINK THERE IS. COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS I THINK CAN BE EXPANDED TO HELP WITH SOME OF THIS. AND, YES, THAT IS PART OF THE MIX TOO.

Beck: ONE QUICK QUESTION FOR BOTH OF YOU. THERE ARE TWO CITIES THAT ARE GOING TO PROBABLY COME IN THE NEXT SESSION AND SAY, "WE WANT TO APPLY SOME SMOKING BANS IN OUR RESTAURANTS AND WE NEED LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL TO DO THAT." WOULD YOU ALLOW CITIES TO DO THAT?

Iverson: WELL, FIRST OF ALL, WHEN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE SMOKING BANS, IT GOES FAR BEYOND THAT. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT PREEMPTION. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ALLOWING CITIES AND COUNTIES TO HAVE LAWS THAT ARE MORE STRINGENT THAN THE STATE. WE HAVE NOT ALLOWED THAT IN IOWA FOR MANY, MANY YEARS. MAYBE FOREVER, I DON'T KNOW. THE BIGGEST THING IS, IF YOU ARE THE OWNER OF THAT RESTAURANT AND YOU DON'T WANT SMOKING IN IT, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS PUT UP A SIGN AND SAY, "I'M THE OWNER, NO SMOKING."

Yepsen: MR. GIPP --

Iverson: YOU DON'T NEED GOVERNMENT FOR THAT.

Yepsen: MR. GIPP, FIVE SECONDS. WHAT'S THE HOUSE GOING TO DO WITH THE SMOKING BAN?

Gipp: THERE IS A BILL THAT'S BEING FILED BY SOME REPRESENTATIVES IN CEDAR RAPIDS, AND WE'LL LOOK AT THAT WHEN IT COMES THROUGH.

Yepsen: GENTLEMEN, I THINK WE'VE JUST GONE UP IN SMOKE HERE. WE'RE OUT OF TIME. WE THANK YOU BOTH FOR COMING IN AND BEING WITH US TODAY. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. AND THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF "IOWA PRESS." DEAN BORG RETURNS WITH US NEXT WEEKEND AT OUR REGULAR AIRTIMES: FRIDAY AT 6.30 AND SUNDAY AT NOON. UNTIL THEN, I'M DAVID YEPSEN OF "THE DES MOINES REGISTER." THANKS FOR JOINING US HERE ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION.

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.