Letter to the Editor: Overturn governor's veto

To the Editor:
Just before the July 4th holiday, Governor Branstad left Iowa schools in a lurch just weeks before the start of the new school year with a $56 million veto of urgently needed funding. The veto came as a surprise to everyone because his office was part of the final negotiations to close down the 2015 legislative session. At that time, he gave no indication that he was opposed to the school funding plan or that he would veto the agreement. According to school leaders, the veto means larger class sizes, fewer teachers, and higher property taxes.  One school district said yesterday they will operate in a deficit next year because of the veto.
With 6% growth projected in the budget next year and an additional $1 billion in surplus and reserves, we can afford to make a solid investment in our schools next year. The state closed the 2015 fiscal year on June 30th collecting $33 million more.
That’s why I’ve joined many of my colleagues in the Iowa House and Senate to request a special session of the Iowa Legislature to make educating Iowa students a top priority again. It’s really the only option left for our schools. If two-thirds of lawmakers agree to come back for a special session, we can overturn the Governor’s veto and put our kids first again.
I hope you’ll join the call for a special session along with over 6,000 Iowans and sign this petition at https://www.change.org/p/members-of-the-iowa-legislature-call-for-a-spec.... Our kids deserve it. Please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions at patti.ruff@legis.iowa.gov.

Patti Ruff, District 56 State Representative