State lawmakers reconvene for 2009 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

State lawmakers reconvene for 2009

DES MOINES (KWWL) - Lawmakers are facing a triple whammy this year in addition to all the other issues that they'll face:  How to balance the budget, how to stimulate economic growth, and first and foremost, how to rebuild flood and tornado damaged areas.

The session kicked off in the house Monday at 10:00 with 18 new members sworn in.  They have a lot on their plate.
The state faces a 600 million dollar shortfall.

House speaker pat murphy said, "It won't be easy the cupboard is almost bare. It may not be our fault, but we need to deal with it, and we need to address it by balancing the budget before we adjurn. If we put aside our differences, I think we can work together to make a better state, and move the state forward."

Two familiar elected officials were visitors in the chamber Monday.

Cedar Rapids mayor Kay Halloran, pushing for flood assistance from lawmakers, and Senator Chuck Grassley sitting with his grandson Pat, a second-term house member.

Tuesday Governor Chet Culver will give his Condition of the State address to a joint session of the house and senate to outline his agenda for this year.

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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