Gronstal on “Iowa Press”

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs) is the guest on this evening’s edition of “Iowa Press” on IPTV. (It will be shown on the 11.3 digital “IPTV WORLD” channel.)

Gronstal gave the state tax credits for film makers a 50-50 chance of survival.  Read the Radio Iowa story here.

Gronstal also said it is “highly likely” that Governor Culver will order an across-the-board cut in the state budget this month.  Gronstal went on to say the governor’s cut should be deep, and he warned that unless there’s a major turn-around, legislators will not be able to provide some funding restoration to areas of the budget when the 2010 session convenes in January.

“My recommendation would be to take a larger cut and then if things turn out to be better than expected, we can certainly make adjustments in the next session of the legislature, but right now I think we continue to be troubled by this national recession that’s effected our revenues just stunningly so I’d take the bigger and if we got lucky and things turn out better than expected we can always go back and fix some things, but right now things do not look like they’re getting better,” Gronstal said.

Gronstal predicted jobs in state government won’t be filled and while Gronstal said he hoped the budget cuts in agencies could be managed trhough attritution, he told reporters after the show that a “few, limited layoffs” may be necessary. 

“I think we have a very daunting task for next year’s budget,” Gronstal said on the program.  “…It is going to be a challenge and there is going to be pain.”

Gronstal ruled out raising taxes.  “I think we need to respect what’s happening to family budgets out there.  They’re going through the same kinds of struggles and we’re going to pile on by adding new taxes at the state level,” Gronstal said.  “…This isn’t the right time to be engaging in that.”

Gronstal said there might be some fee increases, however — pointing to last year’s increase in many court fees, a move Gronstal says helped finance operations of the judicial branch.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.