The Iowa Department of Management released the December Revenue Estimating Conference report that shows the revenue estimate for FY17 has been decreased by 112 million since October. This follows a memo on general fund receipts sent to Governor Terry Branstad in October from David Roeder, the director of the Iowa Department of Management, that the fiscal year to date receipts were only 1.9 percent higher than they were in October of 2015.
The decline in the revenue estimate triggered concerns about the overall state budget from legislative leaders heading into a new session calling for the state to tighten its belt.
“The announcement by the Revenue Estimating Conference today underscores the need for economic growth and reform in state government,” State Senator Bill Dix (R-Shell Rock), the incoming Senate majority leader said. “Senate Republicans are committed to implementing pro-growth policies which will provide confidence to job creators and reform government to protect the taxpayers. These policies will put Iowa on a strong path to address the current budget situation. Senate Republicans look forward to working with the House Republicans and the governor to develop policies to address the state budget in the coming months.”
“Just as we saw in October, Iowa’s revenue growth continues to remain flat. A sluggish agricultural economy, driven by low commodity prices, continues to have a ripple effect in other industries throughout the state. This challenge will require us to closely examine the effectiveness of every program to find areas of efficiency and duplication,” State Representative Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a released statement.
“House Republicans will begin putting together a sustainable budget that, like a family budget, lives within its means. House Republicans are up to the challenge to fund Iowans’ priorities in a responsible way,” Grassley added.
The timeline for Governor Branstad’s resignation following being nominated as U.S. Ambassador to China is uncertain, but it is likely that Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will be sworn in before budget bills start hitting the Governor’s desk.
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