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Iowa Dems will sign resolution calling for special session

Democratic lawmakers will still sign a resolution calling for a special legislative session to override line-item vetoes made last week by Gov. Terry Branstad, state senators said.

Image has not been found. URL: http://media.iowaindependent.com/jack_hatch_125.jpgJack Hatch

“We don’t have the two-thirds yet,” Sen. Jack Hatch (D-Des Moines) said Wednesday, referring to a two-thirds approval requirement from both chambers to convene a special session. “But, we — the Democrats — will sign it and the Republicans won’t.”

While Democrats acknowledged a session may be a long shot considering their numbers compared to Republicans, Sen. Bill Dotzler (D-Waterloo) said the party will continue to push for a special session to override a veto that now permits the closure of at least 36 Iowa Workforce Development field offices. Democratic leaders first called for it last week, following the line-item vetoes issued by Branstad.

“We had a bipartisan agreement when [Senate File 517] was passed. There were Republican senators who told me they’d do what they can to keep these offices open, because the majority of them are in their districts,” Dotzler said. “So now we’ll see who believes in standing up for dislocated workers and who’s playing politics.”

Bill_dotzler_125_2300.jpg
Bill_dotzler_125_2300.jpg

Bill Dotzler

Resolution letters were sent to lawmakers last week, urging senators and representatives to agree to a special session.

Branstad has told Democrats to simply forget about it.

“They know there’s no chance that’s going to happen,” Branstad said Monday. “The Republicans have no interest in playing that political game with them. They were in session here for almost six months; the last thing Iowans want is for [lawmakers] to come back, start getting paid again and posturing more at the taxpayers’ expense.”

Hatch said Branstad has no say in whether a special session will convene.

“He doesn’t want us to override his veto, but it’s not his decision,” Hatch said.

Dotzler lashed out the Branstad administration Wednesday, and accused the administration of lying in a letter which said the Legislature did not appropriate adequate funding to keep field offices open.

“We clearly appropriated the funding,” he said. “I don’t like the executive branch making up these lies about the Legislature. I’m disappointed in the Branstad administration.”

Dotzler said as of Wednesday afternoon, no Republican senators have agreed to sign the resolution to convene a special session.

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