Branstad signs final bills, vetoes $55.7 million for education - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Branstad signs final bills, vetoes $55.7 million for education

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File image: Governor Branstad signs a bill on June 26th File image: Governor Branstad signs a bill on June 26th

Gov. Terry Branstad has vetoed $55.7 million in one-time education funding as well as a bipartisan deal to keep two state mental health institutes open.

Branstad announced the vetoes late Thursday, as he approved a slew of budget bills. Branstad approved much of the more than $7 billion in spending that was passed in the Republican-led House and Democratic-controlled Senate.

The legislative agreement included an increase in ongoing money for K-12 education, as well as the one-time payment.

“Governor Branstad’s veto makes no sense,” said Senator Bob Dvorsky of Coralville, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “The Branstad-Reynolds Administration is deliberately undermining bipartisan efforts to boost student achievement in our K12 schools and to make higher education affordable for students from working families.”

Progress Iowa Executive Director Matt Sinovic said, "The Governor's veto of education funding is outrageous. Branstad has doled out more than $100 million for Orascom, but couldn't bring himself to fund our schools and colleges. To say his priorities are out of whack would be an understatement. Our students, communities, and teachers all deserve better."

The fate of the two mental health institutes -- in Mount Pleasant and Clarinda -- was hotly debated. After Branstad sought to end funding for the facilities, lawmakers reached a deal to keep the Mount Pleasant center open and to seek a private provider to run the other.

You can read about all the bills signed today, as well as Governor Branstad's veto message here.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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