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Lawmakers Reach Rare Budget Agreement

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Legislative leaders from both parties in the House and Senate have accomplished the rare task of agreeing on figures for the state budget for the fiscal year beginning in July.

Joint budget targets were released Wednesday proposing the state spend $6.97 billion, a 7.4 percent increase over the current fiscal year's budget. Gov. Terry Branstad has proposed spending $7 billion.

Democratic Sen. Bob Dvorsky, head of the Senate appropriations committee, says in his 28 years he doesn't recall such an agreement.

Republican Rep. Chuck Sodderberg, head of the House appropriations committee, says the proposed budget spends less than the state brings in and funds Iowans' priorities.

The targets are overall figures for eight broad state budget areas. Budget subcommittees begin working Thursday on details of specific spending.

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