Iowa Lawmakers Debate How to Use Surplus Budget

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By Liz Blood

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — What should Iowa do with the extra money sitting in the state's bank accounts?

It's a key point of debate in ongoing budget negotiations as Gov. Terry Branstad, House Republicans and Senate Democrats push different ideas for dealing with a surplus estimated at more than $800 million.

If lawmakers can't reach a deal, as has happened in the past, that money could just stay put.

Department of Management Director Dave Roederer calls the discussion over whether to use funds for tax cuts or spending an "age old argument."

State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald says surplus general fund dollars are invested in a conservative fashion, along with the rest of the state's money. The current interest rate on those dollars is less than half a percentage point.

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