One of the most important responsibilities we tackle every legislative session is passing a budget. With that responsibility comes the expectation we honor our commitments to schools and state departments by not over-promising and failing to deliver on those commitments. Though it sounds like a simple task in theory, in actuality it can prove quite challenging sometimes due to factors beyond our control. 

Whether it is unforeseen events that affect the economy and budget forecasts or an unanticipated event such as flood recovery or the bird flu, these disasters can create uncertainty in the budgeting process. This is why Senate Republicans have worked the past two years to pass responsible and sustainable budgets. It is important schools and our state agencies can depend on the resources they are promised and not directed to make mid-year cuts as they have been forced to do in the past. 

This week Senate Republicans released their budget targets for Fiscal Year 2020. These targets continue our practice of working with a responsible and sustainable budget. While the overall proposed budget of $7,619,300,000 is the same amount allocated in FY 2019, our proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budget provides increased funding in priority areas.  

Because of several one-time funding expenditures in Fiscal Year 2019 that are not necessary in Fiscal Year 2020, we are able to provide funding increases without increasing the overall size of the budget. Our responsible budget for Iowa include nearly $130 million in new funding for education, $14.5 million in new funding for public safety, and $106 million in new funding for health care.  

We also are once again planning to reduce the tax burden on Iowans and we have factored in an $38.8 million for additional tax relief in the coming fiscal year.  

Today, our budget is balanced, our cash reserves are full and our proposed budget targets addresses Iowans priorities. By holding spending to 97.3 percent of ongoing tax revenue, our state would have an almost $1.1 billion in reserves. 

Senate Republicans are maintaining their commitment to taxpayers to manage their money prudently and put their interests first. Our caucus is committed to continuing to implement pro-growth policies. This budget is one early step in implementing that agenda.

Photo Credit: Angelo Mercado via Flickr (CC-By-NC-ND 2.0)

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