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Progress on the state budget

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June 29, 2011
By State Senator Tom rielly, D-Oskaloosa
With just days before the fiscal year ends on July 1, we must focus on finding sensible compromises in the best interest of Iowa families, students, businesses and communities.

The Senate, House and Governor have all agreed to the size of next year’s state budget and are now putting the final pieces into place on funding for our local schools, jobs for Iowans and property tax reform.

To complete our work, the Senate will be in session next week. You can see what committees are meeting, follow the legislation we’re working on, check on the status of bills and listen to live debate at

My goal is to ensure that Iowans get the biggest bang for their buck, which means we’ve got to make smart budget choices.

I am concerned about adequate funding for our community colleges. With unemployment at an unacceptable level, now is not the time to make it unaffordable for Iowans to re-train with new skills.

It also doesn’t make sense to shut down 37 Workforce Development offices, just as our state is bouncing back from the national recession and more than 100,000 Iowans are looking for jobs.

With $600 million in our reserve funds and another $400 million to be added by the end of this fiscal year, we shouldn’t make deep cuts that will hurt Iowa families, local schools and the vitality of our communities.

Nobody wants a state government shutdown, and I’m confident we won’t see that happen here in Iowa. The general outline of a final common-sense budget compromise is quite clear and we should all accept it.

Please continue to stay in touch with me, your Representative in the Iowa House and the Governor. You elected us to make Iowa a better place to live, work and raise a family, and that is our top priority.

Additional information

This is a legislative update from Senator Tom Rielly, representing Iowa, Poweshiek, and Keokuk counties, and portions of Mahaska and Tama counties. For newsletters, photos and further information, go to .

To contact Senator Rielly during the week, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise he can be reached at home at 641-673-5878. E-mail him at

Senator Rielly is chair of the Transportation Committee and vice-chair of the Commerce Committee. He also serves on the Agriculture, Economic Growth, and Local Government committees.



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