The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on April 22, 2006 · Page 17
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 17

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Des Moines, Iowa
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Saturday, April 22, 2006
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The Pes Moines Register DM AROUND IOWA Saturday, April 22, 2006 Page 3B Budget talks shaky as goals conflict Legislative leaders clash over whether a tax cut for seniors would endanger teachers' pay boost. By JONATHAN ROOS and TIM HIGGINS REGISTER STAFF WRITER Statehouse negotiations over next year's state budget, including money for teacher pay increases, teetered on the brink of collapse Friday after Republican and Democratic legislative leaders reached an impasse over a GOP proposal to cut taxes for Iowa seniors by about $100 million. Republicans want to phase out state taxes on Social Security and reduce taxes on other sources of income for anyone 65 or older. Democrats contend the GOP plan would cut too deeply into state revenue, jeopardizing support for teacher salaries and other education priorities in future years. Leaders of both parties said it's possible the Legislature would have to settle on a state budget that leaves out higher teacher pay and tax cuts. "It may in fact be time for us to get done what we can get done, and have an election," said Senate Democratic leader Michael Gron-stal of Council Bluffs. GOP leaders set a 10 am Monday deadline for Democrats to accept their proposal. Otherwise, they would start work on a bare-bones state budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. "We will not allow government to be shut down We'll pass the rest of the budget to keep government operating," said House Speaker Christopher Rants of Sioux City. Lawmakers can't end the 2006 session until they have passed a budget. Gov. Tom Vilsack signaled he was prepared to call the Legislature back in special session, if necessary, to force an agreement on tax cuts and education spending. He blamed election-year politics for the snarled negotiations and said he wasn't giving up. "There's a relatively simple way out of this abyss we find ourselves in if people will be reasonable," said Vilsack, a Democrat. Perhaps the biggest stumbling Man wanted in 1995 slaying Ismael Vaquera-Acosta allegedly stabbed a man who was trying to calm him during a party. By TOM ALEX REGISTER STAFF WRITER A man who left Des Moines 11 years ago as detectives were obtaining an arrest warrant was taken into custody Thursday in Kansas. Ismael Vaquera-Acosta will stand trial for the October 1995 slaying of Alfredo Contreras Ramirez. Detective Sgt. David Ness said investigators will begin looking for witnesses. Vaquera-Acosta was 26 when he allegedly stabbed Ramirez to death during a backyard party. Ramirez was trying to calm the reportedly enraged Vaquera-Acosta, officials reported at the time. Witnesses said Ramirez walked into his path as Vaquera-Acosta emerged from a house with a knife in his hand. 1 . Address a text message to 4INFO (44636). 2. Type V zip code (ex: w 50322) as the message. 3. A text message will be sent to you with the forecast. Text "help" to 4INFO for a list of services. Vilsack signs enslavement ban Gov. Tom Vilsack signed legislation Friday making human trafficking the enslavement of people for work in sweatshops, as prostitutes or other forms of forced labor a state crime. The activity is already a federal crime. Senate File 2219 would enable local prosecutors to bring charges as well. Up to 800,000 human-trafficking victims annually are taken across international borders, including as many 1 7,500 who are brought to the United States. In some cases, physical force is used. In other instances, victims are entrapped with false promises of marriage opportunities or jobs. Jonathan Roos block is deciding when proposed tax cuts for seniors should kick in. Republicans favor spreading the cuts over six budget years. Democrats favor a 10-year phase-in period to rrdnimize the annual revenue loss to the state. Another Democratic alternative already rejected by House Republican leaders would be to offset the revenue loss with an increase in the cigarette tax. On teacher pay, the two sides appear ready to agree to a three-year program to boost salaries, but they still haven't settled on the amount of money they are willing to earmark for the program. Republicans want to set the increases at $35 million a year. Democrats want $40 million set aside in next year's budget for salaries as well as for teacher-training academies. On preschool expansion, a compromise was in the works that would boost spending by $15 million in fiscal 2007 and an additional $5 million in 2008. Days of closed-door budget talks dissolved Friday in finger-pointing. Gronstal, the Senate Democratic leader, questioned Republicans' motives. "They don't care about pension taxes. They hate teachers," he told reporters. "Come on, that is simply playing politics with teachers," said Senate Republican Co-President Jeff Lamberti. Vaquera-Acosta's brother told police that he was sleeping in the house minutes before the stabbing. He said Ismael Vaquera-Acosta walked into his room and told him that a group of people planned to beat him up. The pair went into the yard and a moment later a knife came out and Ramirez was stabbed. Officials found Vaquera-Acosta in the Wichita, Kan., area. He was working at a spice and coffee business. Ramirez was known as Manuel Aguilar in the Des Moines area in 1995. The stabbing occurred about 2:30 a.m. at a house at 422 S.E. Ninth St., where Vaquera-Acosta had been staying, police said. A dance was held at the United Mexican-American Community Center at 828 Scott Ave., just south of the house. After the dance, several people walked to the house and were drinking alcohol. Police said an argument broke out, and Vaquera-Acosta ran inside the house and got a knife. The investigation indicated Ramirez, 22, Not all tulips wait for the festivals in Pella and Orange City. These colorful beauties brightened Nussle plans The candidate for Iowa governor will touch on four issues that he calls campaign priorities. By THOMAS BEAUMONT REGISTER STAFF WRITER Republican candidate for governor Jim Nussle is expected to launch the election-year's first television advertisement today, more than six weeks before he knows who his Democratic opponent will be. The 30-second spot focuses on four issues the eight-term congressman from Manchester has identified as campaign priorities: Education and health care reform, renewable fuel expansion and economic development. In the spot, Nussle is described as in D.M. arrested in Kansas was not the intended victim and was trying to mediate when he was stabbed in the heart. Others who said they saw the incident said Vaquera-Acosta went crazy and came out of the house looking for someone to attack. O'Peachie Contreras wife of Javier Contreras, who reportedly was involved in an earlier altercation with Vaquera-Acosta said at the time that she attended the dance and then went to the house across the street. She talked to Sell it fast! $35 to sell items priced over '1,201 t i Some restrictions apply. 3 Call 616-284-8141 , or 800-832-1585 UP r Y crrv oc on motnti CH2MHILL Tulip Time launch of election-year's "a leader in the fight to control spending," a claim the Democrats are likely to challenge in the fall. Nussle has tried to curb spending on entitlement programs in his five Nussle years as chairman of the House Budget Committee but has simultaneously passed budgets that have produced record deficits, Concord Coalition Executive Director Bob Bixby said. "My impression is he would do more in controlling spending than his party leaders are willing to let him get away with," said Bixby, whose group is nonpartisan and advocates balanced budgets. "It's left him in the uncomfortable position of presiding over burgeoning spending without necessarily being Ramirez and then left. She was not present when the stabbing occurred but returned later to act as an interpreter. Reporter Tom Alex can be reached at (515) 284-6088 or talexdmreg.com I I IMf is J7 I ill MLlfi Congratulations to the City of Des Moines for their recent Award for Municipal Excellence received for their annual 'It Started with Pots" urban beautification effort. The award, co-sponsored by the National League of Cities and CH2M HILL in honor of James C. Howland, is given annually to the eight cities across the US which have most improved the quality of life for their citizens. In mid-May, CH2M HILL volunteers will help distribute tens of thousands of annuals grown in the City's greenhouses. Please contact your local neighborhood association or non-profit organization if you are interested in taking advantage of this wonderful program. in . . . Ames f , a big spender himself." Spending for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, relief for last fall's Gulf Coast hurricanes and tax cuts have more than offset spending restraint Nussle has pushed, Bixby said. "My problem with the fiscal agenda is not so much the spending, but the tax side. Nussle has gone along with the tax cut agenda, and the spending cuts have not matched the tax cuts," he said. Nussle's ad is his second of the campaign, having run an introductory spot in November. Nussle's new ad will run statewide for several weeks at an initial cost of more than $500,000, aides said. "Since we don't have a primary, and we have a great team with Bob Vander Plaats, we've actually been able to turn our attention and sole focus toward November's general L Plants Arriving Daily f "!v Iowa Outdoor Products! i i...! t.u.j. V..;-.Vj:YrP-V-.;." rre vjjtr u turge at-itt iwri vj ; and flowering trees. New varieties J ' v : , of shrubs and perennials. Ask our friendly, qualified staff about planting & delivery service, 1 Iowa Outdoor rruuuuia X M-F 8-6 Sat. 8-4:30 Sun. 12 Home& Garden Specialty S(;oppe &4h trlrctir ramjt of) gtSeH arreuoeiet llmt are tlijlkh, ijrt frtiirlumal. 3200 H6lt ilcert SJKfnmm, cJtwn S0322 55-277-MM O ( NIRMALENOU MAJUMDARASSOCIATED PRESS 24th Street in Ames this week. first TV ad election," Nussle campaign manager Nick Ryan told reporters Friday. Vander Plaats, a Sioux City business consultant, abandoned his own bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination and agreed to become Nussle's running mate. The release of the ad follows recent high-profile Nussle fundraisers, including one in Des Moines that was headlined by President Bush and brought in more than $1 million. Nussle raised a record $2.5 million in 2005, more than the combined fundraising totals of all the Democrats. Former state economic development director Mike Blouin, Secretary of State Chet Culver and state Rep. Ed Fallon are competing for the June 6 Democratic primary election. No evening hours! Early mornings only! Deliver The Des Moines Register... CALL TODAY! Full of Life Zt 3rs HI in urn firtiislcr siiuuv ; Vl -T a f our - 4 rxK a .. m r. J9! mm f

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