[ {"id":"de467c73-7441-53f0-87b1-5486a6782fc1","type":"article","starttime":"1488088800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-26T00:00:00-06:00","sections":[{"iowa":"news/state-and-regional/iowa"},{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Branstad will remain eligible for state pension as U.S. ambassador","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/article_de467c73-7441-53f0-87b1-5486a6782fc1.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/branstad-will-remain-eligible-for-state-pension-as-u-s/article_de467c73-7441-53f0-87b1-5486a6782fc1.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/branstad-will-remain-eligible-for-state-pension-as-u-s/article_de467c73-7441-53f0-87b1-5486a6782fc1.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":4,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":2},"byline":"Erin Murphy\nTimes Bureau","prologue":"DES MOINES \u2014\u00a0If and when he leaves office to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to China, Iowa Gov. 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DES MOINES \u2014\u00a0If and when he leaves office to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to China, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will see an increase to his six-figure salary, will remain eligible to receive a five-figure state pension and also could become eligible for a federal pension, according to state and federal officials.

Branstad, the longest-serving governor in U.S. history, has been paid an annual salary of $130,000 each of the past five years, according to state data.

Once he becomes ambassador, Branstad will stop receiving his state salary, and instead, he will be paid a federal salary between about $170,000 and $187,000, according to a U.S. State Department spokesman.

Branstad also will remain eligible to collect a state pension from his first stint as governor and time as lieutenant governor and a state legislator, a state official said. That pension, in recent years, has been valued at about $50,000, according to his tax returns.

That would push Branstad\u2019s annual compensation, with the combination of federal salary and state pension, above $200,000.

U.S. ambassadors also can receive various allowances, such as cost of living.

What\u2019s more, Branstad also could, depending on various factors, become eligible for a federal pension from his job as ambassador.

Branstad would not receive a second, separate pension for his second stint as governor, the state officials said.

Branstad\u2019s spokesman declined to comment on the governor\u2019s current and future compensation, but he said the governor is grateful that Iowans have elected him to serve the state.

\u201cGov. Branstad is humbled that a farm kid from Leland would have the opportunity to serve Iowans for over 22 years as their governor,\u201d spokesman Ben Hammes said in an emailed statement. \u201cHe is also thankful for the friendships he has made in all 99 counties and grateful for the prayers from Iowans who have encouraged him as he transitions to become the US Ambassador to China.\u201d

Branstad\u2019s nomination by President Donald Trump to serve as ambassador to China is yet to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, although that generally is considered a formality and a matter of time. Once confirmed, Branstad will resign as Iowa\u2019s governor, a post he held from 1983 to 1999 and again since 2011.

The head of the state\u2019s largest public employee union has criticized Branstad for simultaneously collecting a state salary and pension. When asked about Branstad remaining eligible for a state pension while serving in a federal role, Danny Homan, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 61,\u00a0once again criticized Branstad. He referred to recent changes signed into law by Branstad that significantly weakened public employees\u2019 collective bargaining rights.

\u201cGov. Branstad has proven his uncanny ability to disparage public employees while reaping their benefits in the same breath,\u201d Homan said in an emailed statement. \u201cHow hypocritical of us to send an ambassador to China to encourage the advancement of workers\u2019 rights when he has just decimated the rights of over 180,000 workers in Iowa.\u201d

While the collective bargaining debate heated up at the Capitol, Iowa Rep. Sharon Steckman, a Democrat from Mason City, shared on social media a 2011 report on Gov. Branstad collecting both a state salary and pension.

\u201cIt\u2019s interesting that he can go after public employees when he\u2019s one himself, and one of the highest paid public employees that we have,\u201d Steckman said this past week. \u201cWhat\u2019s good for the goose should be good for the gander.\u201d

Branstad has earned more than $2 million in salary over his 24 calendar years as Iowa\u2019s governor, according to state data. He became the state\u2019s first million-dollar governor, in terms of career earnings, during his first stint, in 1999.

Branstad\u2019s salary of $130,000 was just less than the national average in 2016, according to the Council of State Governments.

The highest-paid governor in 2016 was New York\u2019s Andrew Cuomo at $179,000, according to the council\u2019s report.

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Education spending, overhaul of the state\u2019s collective bargaining law and changes to Iowa\u2019s voting procedures took center stage Saturday at a legislative forum\u00a0at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where more than 400 people crowded into a large meeting room, many with pointed questions for Republicans who now control the Iowa Statehouse.

\u00a0The 90-minute session, the second of a series of monthly forums featuring state lawmakers from the Iowa Quad-Cities, was the first since broad changes to the state\u2019s collective bargaining law were approved by the legislature and signed by Gov. Terry Branstad.

\u00a0Some in the audience called on Republicans to justify their votes. Others said they felt under attack.

\u00a0\u201cA lot of people are angry about this vote. Beyond that, I\u2019m deeply hurt, offended, feel betrayed, feel undervalued. I work extremely hard at my job, and all I can figure is that state legislators decided we\u2019re being overcompensated,\u201d said Derek Jones, a state employee. He said that lawmakers had chosen \u201ctax breaks for big corporations\u201d over state workers.

\u00a0Quad-City area Republicans voted for the legislation, while Democrats voted against it.

\u00a0Rep. Norlin Mommsen, R-DeWitt, said the changes would create competition in the state as well as opportunities for teachers and students. He also said it would give school more room to adapt with declining enrollment.

\u00a0\u201cI think it will be very good for education in the long run,\u201d he said.

\u00a0That brought a response from Sen. Rita Hart, R-Wheatland, who said there would, in fact, be more competition, but that poorer school districts will have a hard time attracting quality teachers.

\u00a0She pointed to Wisconsin, which passed changes to its collective bargaining law in 2011, saying teachers are retiring and \u201csmaller districts are struggling more to stay alive.\u201d

\u00a0The crowd at St. Ambrose was the largest for a legislative forum in memory, according to some of the organizers, and while there were episodes when some in the crowd interrupted lawmakers, it didn\u2019t appear as tense as the atmosphere encountered by some federal lawmakers at town hall meetings across the country.

\u00a0The bulk of the comments from the audience Saturday challenged Republicans on the panel, and there were frequent complaints the legislature had been overly-generous with tax breaks for businesses and stingy on spending for K-12 education.

\u00a0The legislature approved a 1.1 percent increase in basic state aid to school earlier this year, and that drew complaints that schools are cutting programs in response.

\u00a0Rep. Cindy Winckler, D-Davenport, said the 1.1 percent increase will mean a greater burden will fall on property tax payers in more than half of the school districts in the state.

\u00a0However, Sen. Roby Smith, R-Davenport, defended the GOP record on education spending. He said that 55 percent of state funds go to education, and that K-12 was not affected by the $118 million in reductions legislators approved for the state\u2019s overall budget for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year.

\u00a0\u201cIt\u2019s our number one priority,\u201d he said.

\u00a0He also pointed a finger at Democrats who controlled the state Senate last year, saying that while his bill to try to fix the inequity in per pupil funding was seeing action this year in a GOP-controlled Senate, it got nowhere last year when the Democrats controlled the chamber.

\u00a0The inequity has been an issue, particularly in the Davenport school district, for several years now. However, Rep. Phyllis Thede, D-Bettendorf, noted that she, too, introduced a bill last year to try to fix the problem. But, she said, it was stymied in a Republican-controlled House.

\u00a0Some in the crowd also questioned the need for a pending voter identification bill, saying voter irregularities are practically non-existent.

Rep. Gary Mohr, R-Bettendorf, responded that the public supports voter identification. And Smith said state law doesn\u2019t require that county auditors investigate discrepancies in voting.

\u00a0That brought a response from Winckler, who said that election officials follow federal laws and that questionable votes or other activities are reported.

\u00a0Lawmakers also heard pleas to make changes to the state\u2019s medical marijuana law. Felicia Haakenson, of Davenport, whose 5-year-old\u00a0daughter, Kaitlyn, has intractable epilepsy and is treated with cannabis extract, tearfully urged the legislature to update the law.

\u00a0The Haakensons bring the oil in from out of state and there are questions whether this is legal.

"}, {"id":"3b024366-c352-52d5-b513-9af6c9d31131","type":"article","starttime":"1487973600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-24T16:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1488028307","sections":[{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"}],"flags":{"top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Scott board approves $78M budget","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/article_3b024366-c352-52d5-b513-9af6c9d31131.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/scott-board-approves-m-budget/article_3b024366-c352-52d5-b513-9af6c9d31131.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/scott-board-approves-m-budget/article_3b024366-c352-52d5-b513-9af6c9d31131.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Teresa LaBella\nnewsroom@qctimes.com","prologue":"The Scott County Board of Supervisors approved the fiscal year 2018 annual budget and five-year capital improvement plan at Thursday\u2019s regular board meeting. Urban property tax rates will remain the same under the new budget. The rural rate will drop slightly, and the county\u2019s total $78,461,500 in budgeted funds will decline by 1.3 percent from the current fiscal 2017 budget.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["davenport","scott county board of supervisors","tim huey","kraft heinz","juvenile detention center","roadside vegetation specialist","scott county","diane holst","brinson kinzer","scott county park","budget","sterilite","slopertown road","scott county jail","improvement","finance","commerce","capital","economics","plan","annual budget"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"fd7adc7e-0011-5d5e-91b0-692975df9ff2","description":"Holst\u00a0","byline":"","hireswidth":2376,"hiresheight":3000,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/d7/fd7adc7e-0011-5d5e-91b0-692975df9ff2/54a7292bbb21c.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"491","height":"619","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/d7/fd7adc7e-0011-5d5e-91b0-692975df9ff2/57cf876835871.image.jpg?resize=491%2C619"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"126","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/d7/fd7adc7e-0011-5d5e-91b0-692975df9ff2/54a7292bcc090.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"378","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/d7/fd7adc7e-0011-5d5e-91b0-692975df9ff2/54a7292bcd55c.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"779","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/d7/fd7adc7e-0011-5d5e-91b0-692975df9ff2/57cf876835871.image.jpg?crop=480%2C365%2C9%2C175"}}},{"id":"be04a90c-0aee-5e8d-bac8-e4236f2711db","description":"Kinzer","byline":"","hireswidth":497,"hiresheight":619,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/e0/be04a90c-0aee-5e8d-bac8-e4236f2711db/57198d9deda16.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"497","height":"619","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/e0/be04a90c-0aee-5e8d-bac8-e4236f2711db/573d2696c93fa.image.jpg?resize=497%2C619"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"124","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/e0/be04a90c-0aee-5e8d-bac8-e4236f2711db/544bf7a95fe74.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"374","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/e0/be04a90c-0aee-5e8d-bac8-e4236f2711db/544bf7a960a77.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"740","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/e0/be04a90c-0aee-5e8d-bac8-e4236f2711db/573d2696c93fa.image.jpg?crop=490%2C354%2C0%2C137"}}}],"revision":11,"commentID":"3b024366-c352-52d5-b513-9af6c9d31131","body":"

The Scott County Board of Supervisors approved the fiscal year 2018 annual budget and five-year capital improvement plan at Thursday\u2019s regular board meeting.

Urban property tax rates will remain the same under the new budget. The rural rate will drop slightly, and the county\u2019s total $78,461,500 in budgeted funds will decline by 1.3 percent from the current fiscal 2017 budget.

With no comment from county residents during public hearings on the 2018 budget and amendments to the current budget, the only opposition came from Supervisors Diane Holst and Brinson Kinzer. Both Holst and Kinzer rejected the budgeted 0.5 percent increase in county supervisors\u2019 annual compensation. Holst did not support adding a roadside vegetation specialist to secondary roads staff.

Holst also objected to the conservation department\u2019s plan to build a lodge at Scott County Park. The total $585,000 cost to construct a facility for reception, private party and meting use is included in the fiscal 2019 and 2020 capital improvement project budgets.

\u201cI don\u2019t think we should compete with private businesses,\u201d Holst said.

Holst called out a third capital improvement project from the five-year plan: the rail spur in northwest Davenport that will serve the new Kraft Heinz and Sterilite plants. Questions about whether the terms of the tax increment financing agreement for the new development will allow the county to recoup any of the $600,000 spent on the rail spur have not been answered by the city of Davenport, Holst said.

In other business, supervisors passed the first of two readings of an ordinance to rezone 7.5 acres north of Davenport from agricultural general to commercial-light industrial. The rezoning moves city annexation of property along Slopertown Road one step closer, according to County Engineer Tim Huey.

Supervisors also approved a $234,160 bid from Stanley Security for camera replacement, cabling and software integration at the jail and Juvenile Detention Center.

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Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold will be a guest speaker at the Scott County Democrats' annual Red, White and Blue fundraising dinner next month, a local party official said.

Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, was in the Senate from 1993 until 2011. He ran unsuccessfully to get back to the Senate last year, losing to Republican Sen. Ron Johnson.

Scott County Democratic Chairman Thom Hart said Friday that Feingold will be a speaker at the March 25\u00a0dinner. He said the party is seeking other speakers for the event, although he would not reveal who invitations went out to.

Feingold had been considered a potential presidential candidate before the 2008 election cycle, and he made a handful of trips to the state to help the party and some of its candidates during the 2006 election cycle. That included a 2006 visit to Davenport. But in November of that year, he said he would not seek the nomination.

This year's Red, White and Blue dinner will be held at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds. Last year, Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley were the top speakers at the event, which was held a week before the Iowa caucuses.

This year's dinner also is expected to be a draw for those who are running or considering a bid for the Democrats' 2018 gubernatorial nomination. Former Iowa Department of Natural Resources director Rich Leopold, who already has announced his candidacy, is planning to attend, Hart said. So is state Rep. Todd Prichard, D-Charles City, who is considering a run.

Other state and local officials are expected to attend, including Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, and state Senate Democratic Leader Rob Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids. Iowa Democratic Party chairman Derek Eadon also is scheduled to attend.

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February weather again is cooperating with the Frozen Landing ice rink in Bettendorf.

The rink at Middle Road and 23rd Street, in the parking lot of Bettendorf's Splash Landing, will reopen on Sunday, the city announced Friday. The ice rink closed last week because of unseasonably warm temperatures that lasted through the early part of this week.

Hours of operation are noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Hours could change depending on the weather.

To find out if the rink is open or for more information, call 563-549-0587.

"}, {"id":"ec53d49b-f786-536c-abbd-833d27e37edb","type":"article","starttime":"1487966400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-24T14:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1488000198","sections":[{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"},{"education":"news/local/education"},{"iowa":"news/state-and-regional/iowa"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Iowa House speaker rips university over cuts","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/article_ec53d49b-f786-536c-abbd-833d27e37edb.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/iowa-house-speaker-rips-university-over-cuts/article_ec53d49b-f786-536c-abbd-833d27e37edb.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/iowa-house-speaker-rips-university-over-cuts/article_ec53d49b-f786-536c-abbd-833d27e37edb.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Vanessa Miller\nThe Gazette","prologue":"A day after the University of Iowa began notifying 2,440 students they won\u2019t get scholarship money they expected this fall because of state budget cuts, Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer slammed the move Thursday as \u201cpolitics at its worst.\u201d She suggested the university tap into the $2 billion its foundation collected in a fundraising campaign, instead.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["bruce harreld","iowa","linda upmeyer","university of iowa","terry branstad","bruce rastetter","iowa state university","university of northern iowa","governor","iowa house","board of regents","rob hogg","finance","economics","politics","university","money","legislature","campaign"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"544bb6fe-56b6-5a8c-b7a3-29ba374b5a1d","description":"Iowa state Rep. Linda Upmeyer","byline":"","hireswidth":900,"hiresheight":1350,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/44/544bb6fe-56b6-5a8c-b7a3-29ba374b5a1d/58b0b82bbc9fe.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"900","height":"1350","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/44/544bb6fe-56b6-5a8c-b7a3-29ba374b5a1d/58b0914114203.image.jpg?resize=900%2C1350"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"57","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/44/544bb6fe-56b6-5a8c-b7a3-29ba374b5a1d/58b0914114203.image.jpg?crop=891%2C511%2C3%2C367&resize=100%2C57&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"172","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/44/544bb6fe-56b6-5a8c-b7a3-29ba374b5a1d/58b0914114203.image.jpg?crop=891%2C511%2C3%2C367&resize=300%2C172&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"587","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/44/544bb6fe-56b6-5a8c-b7a3-29ba374b5a1d/58b0914114203.image.jpg?crop=891%2C511%2C3%2C367"}}},{"id":"ffbf519a-d98a-5da5-9645-855c69801957","description":"Bruce Harreld","byline":"","hireswidth":576,"hiresheight":324,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/fb/ffbf519a-d98a-5da5-9645-855c69801957/567097b34d3e0.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"576","height":"324","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/fb/ffbf519a-d98a-5da5-9645-855c69801957/5897a4a04ff82.image.jpg?resize=576%2C324"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/fb/ffbf519a-d98a-5da5-9645-855c69801957/567097b3556de.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/fb/ffbf519a-d98a-5da5-9645-855c69801957/5897a4a04ff82.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/fb/ffbf519a-d98a-5da5-9645-855c69801957/5897a4a04ff82.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":10,"commentID":"ec53d49b-f786-536c-abbd-833d27e37edb","body":"

A day after the University of Iowa began notifying 2,440 students they won\u2019t get scholarship money they expected this fall because of state budget cuts, Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer slammed the move Thursday as \u201cpolitics at its worst.\u201d

She suggested the university tap into the $2 billion its foundation collected in a fundraising campaign, instead.

\u201cIt\u2019s very disappointing that the University of Iowa is choosing to play politics with scholarships and the lives of parents and students,\u201d Upmeyer, R-Clear Lake, said in a statement.

On Wednesday, university President Bruce Harreld told lawmakers his institution is cutting several non-merit and non-need-based scholarship programs in response to an $8 million takeback in state appropriations in the current budget year.

That means student recipients of the eliminated programs \u2014 such as the Iowa Heritage Award that gives aid to students with a parent or guardian who is an alumnus \u2014 won\u2019t get money they expected next school year.

Dropping the scholarships, which could affect the recipients beyond next year, is expected to save the university $4.3 million.

But Upmeyer questioned the need to yank the aid, referring to an earlier comment from Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter that state universities \u201cwould be able to make reductions, based on the governor\u2019s budget recommendation, with minimal impact on students.\u201d

That comment came after Gov. Terry Branstad proposed taking back $25.5 million from the regent universities. But lawmakers \u201csoftened those reductions further,\u201d Upmeyer said.

In December, the Legislature agreed to cut $18 million from the base of state funds allocated to universities \u2014 $8 million each from the University of Iowa and Iowa State University and $2 million from the University of Northern Iowa.

Those cuts, which are part of a larger statewide de-appropriation because of a budget shortfall, are expected to persist past this budget year because they pull from the base of annual allocations.

But Upmeyer seemed to believe otherwise, saying: \u201cThese cuts to financial aid scholarships are for next school year, and the Legislature hasn\u2019t even appropriated money to the regents yet.\u201d

Lawmakers still are considering the regents\u2019 request for a 2 percent increase in state support for the next budget year.

Even if approved, that wouldn\u2019t make up for the $18 million hit.

Now, Rastetter said he would like to know if the Legislature intends to restore this year\u2019s cuts.

\u201cUnless I\u2019m misinterpreting Speaker Upmeyer, to add back in that $8 million that just got cut, we have to assume that\u2019s a permanent cut,\u201d Rastetter said. \u201cWe\u2019ll try and clarify that with her, and hopefully, that means that they don\u2019t plan on it being a permanent cut.\u201d

Senate Minority Leader Rob Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, said Democrats were \u201cready, willing and able\u201d to vote on increased funding to help the University of Iowa. But he also called on the university to reconsider.

\u201cThis is really bad. I have already communicated with the University of Iowa that if there\u2019s any way they can avoid doing this, they should do that,\u201d Hogg said. \u201cBut I\u2019m imploring this body and this Legislature to act.\u201d

Upmeyer indicated a place to look for the money is the university\u2019s recent historic fundraising campaign, which took in nearly $2 billion.

\u201cSurely some of that money could have been used to make up the difference,\u201d she said.

Harreld has said that even though the university brings in major donations through its foundation, that money is restricted by donor intent on how it can be used.

(Rod Boshart contributed to this story.)

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This week on the podcast, reporters discuss a variety of town hall meetings that legislators held around Iowa, as well as a potential expansion to medical marijuana in Iowa.

On Iowa Politics is a weekly news and analysis podcast that re-creates the conversations that happen when Iowa's political reporters get together after the day's deadlines have been met. This week's show features James Q. Lynch, Christinia Crippes, Ed Tibbetts, Erin Murphy and Todd Dorman.

The show was produced by Max Freund, and the music is courtesy of Revive the Fallen. Find us at qctimes.com, chat with us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @OnIowaPolitics and subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher. Know an Iowa musician who should be on our show? Send their band sound files to oniowapolitics@gmail.com.

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