We have spent most of the week in committee meetings, one right after the other. In these meetings we hear presentations from departments and agencies all defending their budgets and justifying their projects. It is a stepped up schedule due to the shortened session. Actual debate on the floor was minimal.
By law, we must balance the budget. The numbers we have seen don’t add up to the savings that will be needed. We all hope we can work together to find the cost savings and efficiencies.
Many of the Governor’s projections are based on savings from an out-of-state, highly taxpayer-paid consultant. Yet, when the non-partisan analysts who work for Legislature look at the same proposals, they find results that are only small fractions of what was originally touted. For example, the consultants said one all-inclusive aspect of the government re-organization bill being pushed through the Legislature in the next few days would save $200 million dollars. Yet, when the non-partisan analysts scored it, they found it to be closer to$43 million. Those kinds of financial discrepancies are found in several aspects of the governor’s budget statement and could easily leave the state’s budget unbalanced by hundreds of millions of dollars if not corrected.
Bills other than the budget that keep popping up on the radar screen deal with Right to Carry laws, the Puppy Mill bill, Graduated Drivers licenses, an ethanol mandate among numerous others.
We will continue to offer our suggestions and solutions because Iowans want their senators and representatives to work hard on their behalf. But if the unfettered spending continues as it has the past three years, you can expect us to once again cast our votes in favor of families’ budgets rather than bigger government budgets.
Due to the shortened legislative session, bills will move through the statehouse quickly and as your senator, I take seriously the job of serving as your watchdog in Des Moines. The Governor’s budget is something that the alarm should be sounded on. I value your opinion and always enjoy hearing from you.
Please feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or 515 281-3371.
Senator Tim Kapucian - Tama, Grundy, Benton and Iowa counties
State Sen. Tim Kapucian