- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate has passed a Democratic-sponsored amendment to a state spending bill that would require the state auditor to look into confidential settlement agreements with fired state workers during Gov. Terry Branstad’s current term.

The amendment authorizes $10,000 for the auditor to conduct the reviews.

Senate Republicans proposed to amend the measure to cover the administrations of Chet Culver and Tom Vilsack, both Democrats, claiming confidential settlements are nothing new. The proposal failed.

Democratic Senate Leader Mike Gronstal accused Republicans of politicizing the issue. He says the question of whether Branstad’s administration fired state employees for political reasons needs to be answered.

Republican Sen. Jack Whitver says the issue has been going on for years.

The amendment was tacked onto the Administration and Regulation Budget bill, approved Wednesday 26-21.

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