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Iowa Senate OKs closing of ISU's Leopold Center, other budget cuts

Spending bills that will force the closure of Iowa State University's Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and likely reduce court services statewide were approved by the Iowa Senate on Monday as lawmakers dealt with a tight state budget.

The appropriations bills included money for Iowa's agricultural and natural resources programs, the state's judicial branch and the justice system. The measures now head to the Iowa House for final consideration as lawmakers push to adjourn their 2017 session.

Each of the Senate measures were approved on 29-21 votes.

The House also gave approval to budget bills dealing with the state's education budget and the administration and regulation budget. Those bills were approved on 58-41 votes....

Senate File 509 appropriates $559 million for the justice systems budget. It includes cuts of $1.45 million in victims' assistance grants, which support victims of sexual abuse and other crimes. The Department of Corrections was cut by about $5.5 million in 2017 and will see another $1.6 million decrease in the coming fiscal year.

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