Traditionally, voting on the department budget bills signals the end of a Legislative session. The budget process lasts through much of the session. This year, the process was tweaked to move things along faster than in past sessions. House Republicans and Senate Democrats sat down together and worked on joint budget targets, which were presented […]
We have reached the mid-point of the session. The standard schedule for a two-year General Assembly calls for a 110 day first session and a 100 day second session. This year, the second session of the 85th General Assembly, is scheduled to end April 22nd. We are just over half-way through the 2014 session, but […]
Three and a half years ago, I made the decision to run for the Iowa Senate. It is always a tough decision to put your name on the ballot to be voted upon by your peers, but I did so because I knew we could do better as a state. I was concerned that our […]
Following the conclusion of funnel week, many bills finally came to the floor this week for a vote. The overwhelming majority of these bills were non-controversial bills, covering a range of topics. Most of these bills passed unanimously. One such bill was Senate File 2201, which made the kidnapping of children 17 and younger a […]
The FY 2013 year-end report on Iowa General Fund revenues shows that state government taxing and spending is at an all-time record high, and it keeps going up. The FY 2013 net appropriations were $6.413 billion, up over $450 million from FY 2012. The budget has grown from $4.8 billion since 2005, as Graph 1 […]
Last Thursday, a Iowa House subcommittee voted 5-0 in favor of House Study Bill 514 which if passed would raise the state excise tax on gasoline by 10 cents over the next three years. The tax would be raised by 3 cents per gallon next July 1, another three cents by July 1, 2015, and […]
Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) says he is pushing for Medicaid expansion in Ohio because of his faith and he’s for small government.
Iowans deserve fiscal responsibility from their state legislators, unfortunately that isn’t what they’re getting in the Iowa Senate Democrats’ budget.
There is a lot of talk about what the Iowa Legislature should do with Iowa’s $800 million budget surplus. They should give it back to Iowa’s taxpayers.
To have truth in Iowa state accounting and budgeting process we must ask our elected officials how public pensions and health insurance will be paid for.
Retiree health-care costs are a significant liability to future taxpayers, especially as the government-employee population continues to age and retire with high expectations for medical treatment. Many states – 19 in FY2009 – have zero funds set aside to pay for these benefits. Another seven have only funded 25 percent of their liability, according to […]
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 […]
The so-called “surplus” is actually: $600 million in one-time cash reserve funds (needed to help the state cash flow) $250 million in one-time ending balance from this year (FY 12) $200 million in on-going revenue growth for next year (FY 13) The state budget is really about $12 billion. $6 billion appropriated by the state […]
The best way to help Iowa’s employers to begin hiring people and investing in their businesses is to do two things: address property taxes and keep control of government spending. Property tax reform provides savings for individuals and businesses and it provides certainty for those same people as the plan for their futures. Controlling government […]
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad gave his Condition of the State address this morning to the Iowa General Assembly. Madam Lt. Governor, Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Leaders, justices, judges, legislators, elected officials, distinguished guests, family, friends and fellow Iowans. Today it is my honor to stand before you and deliver this, my 17th State of the […]
By State Senator Paul McKinley By now, most Iowans are aware that the bi-partisan budget discussions in Des Moines have come to a screeching halt. As the 2011 legislative session enters its sixth different month, Iowans are rightly asking why. The answer is not complicated as you might think once you understand what is at […]