Lawmakers Reach Prison Spending Deal
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Legislators say they have struck a deal to increase this year's spending on the state's prison system to avoid layoffs of guards.
Key lawmakers of both parties say the agreement calls for spending $7.5 million extra on prisons. That splits the difference between the $6.5 million approved by the House, controlled by Republicans, and the $8.5 million approved by the Senate, where Democrats have a majority.
Lawmakers say the Corrections Department needs the extra money due to a contract with state worker unions approved by former Gov. Chet Culver that pushed up expenses.
Asked about the agreement Tuesday, Urbandale Republican Rep. Scott Raecker expressed hope that the compromise was a sign Democrats and Republicans could reach agreements on other budget matters.