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By State Representative Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha)

This week, House Republicans released our Fiscal Year 2013 budget targets. Fiscal Year 2013 actually begins on July 1, 2012. We will craft a budget with job creators in mind and our conservative approach will create stability and certainty for all Iowans.

Our Budget Continues Our Commonsense Budget Approach

As I have stated before, there are three key budgeting principles that House Republicans will adhere to.

We will align ongoing spending with ongoing revenue. Iowans cannot afford a government that spends more money than it takes in. Anything less jeopardizes Iowa’s long-term economic health.

We will end the practice of using one-time money for ongoing expenses. This is not how
Iowans balance their own checkbooks at home and it’s not how House Republicans will balance the government checkbook.
We will not intentionally underfund entitlement programs. Promises made should be promises kept and House Republicans can best protect education and Medicaid by getting the budget under control.

As economic uncertainty continues throughout the country, it is imperative that we take a conservative approach to the budget in order to give stability to Iowa’s job creators. Controlling government spending by spending less than the government takes in demonstrates a commitment to commonsense budgeting and economic health that employers deserve. The best way to help Iowa’s employers is to keep control of government spending.

Our Plan Reflects Iowans’ Priorities

Our budget shows our commitment to listening to Iowans and digging deep into the budgets, with a line by line review of state spending. We will craft another government efficiency bill in order to cut out waste and find efficiencies.

With a modest and conservative one percent growth, House Republicans propose spending just 97 cents of each ongoing dollar of revenue. By comparison, the Republican budget spends $313 million less than Fiscal Year 2011, the Gov. Culver’s last budget. This is an efficient budget that funds Iowans’ priorities.

House Republicans’ budget will fund Iowans’ priorities including: education, public safety, health care, fully-funding property tax credits and preserving any ending balance by transferring it to the Taxpayers Trust Fund.

Taxpayers can no longer afford to carry the full burden for every state employee’s health insurance. Asking all employees, including state legislators, to contribute a reasonable $200 monthly payment towards their own health care is the right thing to do. More than 80 percent of state employees contribute nothing towards their health care. As we operate under the threat of the federal government eliminating money sent to Iowa, we should be prepared for the worst.

Setting our budget targets is the first step in the budgeting process. We will continue to work through the details, take our plan to Iowans and continue going line by line to save taxpayers money. The budget subcommittees will continue their work in each area, crafting a budget that funds Iowans’ priorities and creating an efficient and effective budget.

You can view the budget targets and the proposed balance sheet on my website at www.kraigpauslen.com

State Representative Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) represents Iowa House District 35 and is Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives

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