Iowa Democrats say a spending bill expected to be approved by Congress will make an extra $96 million available for education spending in the state and could prevent layoffs of up to 1,800 teachers.
U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin and Gov. Chet Culver joined for a Statehouse news conference Monday to discuss the $26 billion bill, which is aimed at avoiding the layoffs of tens of thousands of teachers and other state and local government workers.
The Senate approved the measure Thursday and the House is expected to return from summer recess to pass it this week despite Republican opposition.
Besides the education funding, the measure will provide an additional $130 million to prop up the Medicaid program that helps low-income and elderly people. Culver says about 400,000 Iowa families get Medicaid assistance.