Monday, April 20, 2009

Governor Disagrees That He's Hurting Tax Plan

Today, Iowa Governor Chet Culver told me he disagrees with House Speaker Pat Murphy that Culver is the reason Democrats are struggling to pass their major overhaul of the state's tax system. Last Tuesday, Representative Paul Shomshor, of Council Bluffs, said twice during a news conference that Democrats would pass the tax plan. But Democratic leadership never took a vote on the plan. Wednesday, Murphy conceded his party had only 50 votes on the idea, leaving it one vote short. And he blamed Culver. He said Culver pushed for more Iowans to get tax cuts under the plan, and that eroded Democratic support. Murphy said, "I think it slowed down the process or we would have had that bill two weeks ago."

Today, Culver told me he doesn't think his changes hurt his party's chances to pass the bill. He said, "I don't. In fact, the original bill only had 49% of Iowans getting a tax cut. We've now moved that to 60%. I think we've probably picked up some votes and maybe even a few Republican votes."

I haven't been able to find any of those "few Republican votes" to say publicly they will support the idea. Still no word on when, or if, house Democrats will bring up the tax plan for a final vote. But the governor didn't want us saying the idea is dead. "No. I don't", he said.

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