When the Governor and legislators say, “everything is on the table”, that’s exactly what they mean. The Iowa Juvenile Home (IJH) is one of those items that was thrown onto the chopping block this session. As decisions are still being formulated, a rumor has started in Tama County that IJH will be forced to close.
This rumor is NOT true! The facility is NOT closing nor is it even being suggested.
The current funding proposal coming out of the Health & Human Services Committee shows IJH’s current funding and proposed funding for FY2011.
FY 2010 - $6,079,283
FY 2011 - $6,189,273
Do not put down your gun, we still have to fight! At first glance, it appears as though the committee appropriated additional funds to IJH. What these figures do not reflect is the $840,000 in stimulus money that kept IJH afloat throughout the current year. The stimulus money was one-time money, which is not being replaced in the FY2011 budget. The FY2011 General Fund increase is due to a transfer from the Eldora Training School.
The proposed $6,189,273 is operational funding. The Salary Bill comes later and it funds the pay increases projected for the new fiscal year. If IJH does not receive this salary money, DHS and IJH management will have to balance the new shortfall with deeper cuts.
The Iowa Juvenile Home is an asset to our district. It provides quality jobs, purchases local goods and services, and offers volunteer opportunities for community events. Most of all, however, IJH takes students challenged early in their life and provides them with discipline, education, role models, love and much more. Many say IJH’s staff turns liabilities into assets. I believe the staff opens doors to the American Dream for youths that have seen those doors shut on them early in life.
I support the efforts and goals of the Iowa Juvenile Home!
Rep. Lance Horbach