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Iowa ranks high for fiscal responsibility

September 19, 2014
By State Senator Steve Sodders - D-State Center , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

A perfect credit rating and strong budget make Iowa one of the best run states in the country. As your state senator, I am committed to keeping Iowa's finances in good shape.

I am proud of the bipartisan efforts of the Legislature to balance the state budget without raising taxes and set aside money for a rainy day.

We use caution when determining how much to spend by looking at recent revenue estimates from a nonpartisan panel of experts and budgeting in a conservative manner.

Article Photos

State Senator Steve Sodders
D-State Center

With this approach, Iowa is expected to have a budget surplus of about $735 million when this fiscal year ends on June 30, 2015. We also have $696 million in our Cash Reserves and Economic Emergency funds, the largest amount in state history.

These rainy day funds- equal to about 10 percent of our state budget- are among the strongest in the country, according to the Tax Foundation.

State Auditor Mary Mosiman noted Iowa's strong fiscal condition in her review this summer of state finances. Auditor Mosiman stated: "Not only has the spending gap been reduced to $171 million, but we now have a surplus of almost $750 million, in addition to our reserve funds which are full. The fiscal discipline of the last few years is paying off, and we need to ensure it continues."

Iowa consistently earns the best-possible credit rating from Standard and Poor's, which means the state has an "extremely strong capacity to meet financial commitments" in full and on time.

This strong credit rating, in addition to our well-managed budget and low debt, put Iowa among the top three best-run states in the nation, according to 24/7 Wall Street.

If legislators think your tax dollars are being misused, we fix the problem. For example, the Senate's Government Oversight Committee is investigating why nearly $700,000 in taxpayer money was paid to former state employees in secret settlements since 2011.

We'll continue asking questions until Iowans get the answers they deserve about what happened and how to prevent the problem in the future.



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