DES MOINE, Iowa – Gov. Chet Culver has virtually ruled out the possibility of calling the Legislature into special session to craft a flood relief package and instead will use his own authority to divert at least $20 million to disaster recovery, The Associated Press has learned.
The governor’s decision could be announced by Monday and was sparked by a sharp increase in federal disaster assistance, two legislative sources told The AP. The sources spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the governor’s plans.
Surprise, surprise. (FYI, our misspelled capital in the dateline is their error, not mine.) I’d be more wary of the unnamed sources if this ending wasn’t already so obvious.
UPDATE — Local lawmakers are starting to sound off. From a GOP press release:
“People across the state are speaking out, begging for a special session to put their cities back together, their businesses back on track and their lives moving forward again,” said Minority Whip Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha). “These people are not asking for a handout, merely a hand up.”
UPDATE II — Culver’s spokesman, Troy Price, responds:
“On special session, Governor Culver has said all along that he will make a decision by the middle of September regarding the necessity of a special session. He will let Iowans know at an appropriate time what his decision will be, based on the guidelines he specified last week.”