Lawmakers Expect More Compromise - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Lawmakers Expect More Compromise

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By Alex Schuman

aschuman@myabc5.com

@alexschuman

Iowa's legislative session starts on Monday, and leaders in the House and Senate hope to see more compromise than pervious years.

The issues are not much different from the 2012 session.  Lawmakers' top issues will be mental health reform, education reform and property taxes. 

The new and perhaps most divisive, will be part of a new debate about what to do with the extra money in Iowa's budget. 

"We can run state government on less money than what came in last year," said Speaker of the Iowa House Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha.  "We need to find a way to return those excess dollars.  It's their money.  It's not government's money.  It's Iowans' money."

Both parties want to consider tax cuts and party leaders agree some of the money that's one-time revenue will likely go to roads and infrastructure.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal. D-Council Bluffs, thinks the lack of a looming election could mean they finally reach a deal on cutting commercial property taxes. 

"Some people in election years kind of pull back from looking for common ground thinking they may have electoral advantage," said Gronstal.

Each side thinks they will be able to find middle ground on several issues and adjourn at least close to on time.

"On the front of the session, you always feel optimistic," said Paulsen.  "We start on Monday, let's go."

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