DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Legislative leaders say they agreed before the current session started to arrive at broad budget figures on which Republicans and Democrats could agree to prove that divided state government can work.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, says Thursday that record low public disapproval of Congress gave state leaders impetus to work together.
He says he met with House Republican leaders and they agreed to start with areas of consensus, resulting in joint budget targets released Wednesday, six weeks ahead of when such numbers are usually completed.
The budget proposes to spend $6.97 billion in the budget year beginning in July, a 7.4 percent increase over the current budget.
Work remains as subcommittees negotiate how to spend money within the leader's targets. Those meetings started Thursday.
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