- Associated Press - Monday, January 30, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican lawmakers are expected to approve legislation to patch a shortfall in the state’s $7.2 billion budget.

The GOP-controlled House is scheduled Monday evening to vote on a bill that would cut about $117 million. The Republican-led Senate passed the legislation and Gov. Terry Branstad has indicated support.

The reductions require departments to cut about $88 million from the budget that began last July. An additional $25 million would come from various funds and about $4 million would be saved from unused tax credits.

The bill includes a $3 million cut to Iowa’s Judicial Branch, which oversees courts. The department won’t fill staff vacancies and close nonessential offices for one day.

Republicans say the reductions will minimize the shortfall’s impact, but Democrats argue it will hurt critical areas of government.

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