Iowa Lawmakers Appear Close to Concluding Session

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By Kayleigh Milas

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers appear close to concluding the 2013 legislative session, though they may put a health care debate on hold.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal says he expects to start voting on budget bills on Wednesday. He declined to predict a final day for the session, but says legislators were close to deals on education policy and property tax reductions.

Lawmakers have not found a compromise on whether to expand Medicaid or to pass an alternate health care plan offered by Gov. Terry Branstad. One option for the Legislature would be to conclude the session without finishing the debate and to return later on that issue in a special session.

Gronstal says discussions were underway about the best approach on health care because "common ground is elusive."

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