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Iowa House to reconvene after recess due to pandemic

Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 7:47 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (WOI) - The Iowa House will reconvene tomorrow after closing as a precaution during the pandemic.

The session was suspended at the end of April.

But as lawmakers return to the capitol, the landscape of the state is much different now.

The state estimates there will be 500 million dollars less in revenue than originally planned for this year's budget.

A 100 million dollar increase in education funding has already passed the legislature.

So now the question is what to cut and whether to dip into the reserves.

"There is a lot of uncertainty, but again as we budget we're going to make sure we aren't spending every dollar available based on the REC,” Rep. Pat Grassley said. “We're going to make some responsible decisions, not raiding cash reserves, not raiding emergency funds, to make sure if there are situations moving forward that it isn't just coming in and similar to the way we have because I think the way we budget has left us in a good situation right now."

"The need is just extreme. We need to make sure we're engaging the resources that we have,” Rep. Todd Prichard said. “That would be the CARES Act money. We'll be looking at the reserves. Iowa came into this pandemic with reserves in a good spot, about $1 billion in reserves. We need to make sure we're using this money appropriately, and we're not just letting it lie when it could be helping people recover."

Lawmakers are planning to caucus in larger rooms and committee meetings will take place in the chambers as a safety precaution.

See the full story on WOI’s website.

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