Iowa lawmakers have convened for the 2015 legislative session amid concerns there will be little money for new programs. Legislators in the Republican-majority House and Democratic-controlled Senate gaveled in Monday at the Capitol in Des Moines. Governor Terry Branstad has cautioned the state has limited money for new initiatives. That’s in part because the state is still paying for a property tax cut and education spending that was approved two years ago. Branstad will unveil his budget proposal Tuesday during his Condition of the State address. Other issues before lawmakers will be how to raise money for bridges and roads, as well as expanding broadband Internet and cracking down on bullying. Republican State Senator Dan Zumbach of Ryan says the budget tops his list of priorities this year.
Republican State Representative Lee Hein of Monticello says the budget is most important to him.
Democratic State Representative Nancy Dunkel of Dyersville also says her top priority is balancing the budget.
Democratic State Senator Tod Bowman of Maquoketa says his top priority is securing additional funding for roads and bridges.
Bowman also says securing funding for K-12 schools and freezing college tuition for a third consecutive year is among his priorities. The legislative session is scheduled to end May 1st, though lawmakers could finish before or after that date.