Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal issued a statement last week accusing local veteran State Senator Steve Kettering of "playing political games." The Democrat said that Republican Kettering, of Lake View, should tell his constituents why he voted against veterans, public safety and 5,000 new Iowa jobs.
The Iowa Senate voted this week to complete projects which were approved last year, but delayed by turmoil in the bond market.
"Senator Kettering voted 'no' on renovating the Iowa Veterans Home, threatening a long overdue $100 million project," Gronstal said. "Senator Kettering voted 'no' on creating safer communities through prison repairs and community corrections initiatives that make working conditions safer for prison guards and tighten supervision of released offenders. He even said no to one million dollars to dredge and improve Storm Lake."
Gronstal said he was especially surprised that in the same week which saw state unemployment numbers rise yet again, Senator Kettering voted 'no' to these long-term state investments which experts say will create as many as 5,000 new jobs, many in Senator Kettering's district.
"Senator Kettering apparently has a one word response to the Iowa families looking for relief from today's economic pain - 'no,'" Gronstal said. "Senator Kettering rejected a prudent approach to help veterans, address prison shortcomings, and create much needed jobs at the same time.
Gronstal dismissed claims that Kettering was opposed to increased government spending.
"A week earlier, Senator Kettering said 'no' to cutting the current state budget by $30 million and canceling plans to build a new state office building in Des Moines," Gronstal pointed out. "Rather than voting to cut the budget, Senator Kettering even voted for amendments to increase state spending."
Gronstal said the national economic recession is punishing Iowa families. In addition to rising unemployment, the state foreclosure rate is the highest in ten years.
"There will be more tough choices before the 2009 legislative session ends," Gronstal said. "The people Senator Kettering represents should find out when he intends to stop playing political games and get serious about the severe economic crisis our state is in."