On Friday Iowa State Auditor David Vaudt released his review of the for the Fiscal Year 2011 budget just passed by the General Assembly. He asserts that “this budget should be evaluated not only by what it does in Fiscal Year 2011, but also by how it sets Iowa up for Fiscal Year 2012.”
In his report he lists five concerns:
- The government reorganization plan didn’t save enough taxpayer money, and in fact was offset by $248 million of additional spending, actually increasing spending by $140 million.
- A huge reliance on one time funds leaves us with a spending gap for FY 2012.
- Our rainy day funds have been depleted – projected to be less than $200 Million at the end of FY 2011, down nearly $400 Million from the beginning of FY 2009. In the face of a true fiscal crisis, these funds will not last long.
- Future challenges were not accounted for in the FY 2011 budget – unfunded state school aid and collective bargaining costs and unpaid leave days.
- Due to this budget our Legislature faces a spending gap of nearly $1 Billion. We are out of “easy” options for dealing with our spending gap.
Governor Culver and Legislative Democrats have demonstrated that they lack the ability to provide sound fiscal management and exercise discipline with your money. With the reorganization bill, Republicans offered ideas for more savings, but those were ignored.
What they were truly successful in doing, however. was forcing school boards across this state to be in the position of increasing property taxes. I’m sure that is something they’d rather not run on come November.