Are Iowa Legislators a Little Too Spend Happy With Iowa's Money?
Senate Republican Leader Jerry Behn talks reckless spending and the Iowa budget today in his weekly update.
Net state tax receipts collected in May were the most of any month in Iowa history, largely due to the state’s strong agricultural economy.
Iowa took in $794.5 million in May after refunds, a number that broke the previous record of $791.1 million reported in May of 2007.
Believe it or not, some liberal politicians and special interest groups think this extra cash is just burning a hole in our state’s pocket. They’ve got the “spend it if you got it” mentality.
Yet right now, that is the absolute wrong approach to take. Here’s why:
Many positive steps were taken during the last two legislative sessions to make Iowa’s budget more accountable and gimmick free and as a result, the total spending is less than what was authorized by Governor Culver and legislative Democrats during their four years of total government control.
That’s a huge relief given the years of reckless spending, one-time dollars being spent for ongoing expenses and the devastating ten percent across-the-board cuts that Iowans experienced.
Yet, Senate Republicans believe we are still spending too much money. The state’s new budget will be approximately $6.2 billion dollars. However, that is only part of the picture. Iowa also gets approximately $6 billion in additional dollars from the federal government - over $12 billion total.
Is it true that Iowa ended the year with some money in the bank?
Yes, but those dollars required by law to be there for economic emergencies and to pay our bills on time, knowing that revenues do not come in equally from month to month. Iowa also needs a soft cushion when politicians in D.C. finally decide to right their fiscal ship.
There is still much more we can and should do in Iowa to make government more efficient and effective and to give the hardworking taxpayers of our state the measurable results they deserve.
Now is not the time to spend money just because we have it.
Like any family or business, we need to save for the future and be ready for emergencies.
We think you will agree, it’s the right thing to do. It’s time for Iowans to stand with us so common sense can win out.
Senate Republican Leader