Governor asks for $700 million for disaster recovery - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Governor asks for $700 million for disaster recovery

DES MOINES (KWWL) -- In 2008, Iowa was hit by historic flooding, and devastating tornadoes. Rebuilding has begun, but during his annual "Condition of the State" speech, Tuesday, Governor Chet Culver challenged lawmakers to help him to finish the job, without raising taxes.

Heeding calls to make cuts to control a deepening deficit, Governor Culver has proposed borrowing the money needed to rebuild Iowa's infrastructure and create thousands of new jobs."

"I believe our first order of business of the 2009 legislative session is must be to rebuild the state we all love," said Governor Culver/

Governor Culver asked lawmakers for three things. Among them... $43-million for communities, businesses, and families hit hard by flooding and tornadoes.  He'll get that money from the state's "rainy day" fund.

He also wants to use the state gambling revenues as the collateral for $700-million in bonds to bankroll a program to address infrastructure needs and create jobs.

"This is the first time in our state's history that we've earned a triple-A bond rating, and I intend to use it," Governor Culver said.

But, Republicans say, not so fast.

"I was shocked to see the governor get up there and say, 'I want to use that triple-A bond rating.' it was like giving a kid a credit card and turning him loose at the mall, and saying, 'I'm gonna go charge it,'" said Rep. Christopher Rants (R-Sioux City)

Governor Culver defends his plan saying road work will pave the way for jobs.  He said that for every $100 million spent on highway infrastructure, more than 4,000 new jobs are created.

While investing in "bricks and mortar", Governor Culver will cut back on day-to-day expenses of state government.  

Online Producer:  Dani Blecha

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