Inside this issue:
Appropriations 2 Agriculture 2Commerce 4Economic Growth 4Education 4EnvironmentalProtection6Human Resources 7Judiciary 8Natural Resources 8State Government 9Transportation 9Veterans Affairs 9Ways and Means 10
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Compromise on EducationReform
In an effort to come to resolution on theeducation reform plan which is currentlybefore a House and Senate ConferenceCommittee, House Republicans offered acompromise. The plan saves taxpayer money, allows schools to plan ahead for the long term, and implements policychanges focused on achievement-drivenreforms.House Education Committee Chairman,Rep. Ron Jorgensen (R-Sioux City) of-fered the compromise plan during theconference committee. The details in-clude:
Keep intact policy language andappropriations for House File 215.
2 percent increase in allowablegrowth for Fiscal Year 2014, plus aone-time payment equivalent to 2percent allowable growth.
4 percent increase in allowablegrowth for Fiscal Year 2015.This compromise plan offers flexibility for school districts, accountability for parentsand protection for taxpayers. HouseRepublicans are hopeful that the SenateDemocrats will take our compromiseunder serious consideration and we canresolve this issue as soon as possible.The House previously passed $87.5 mil-lion in Fiscal Year 2014 and $119.3 mil-lion in Fiscal Year 2015. The Senateoriginally passed $135 million in FiscalYear 2014 and $305 million in FiscalYear 2015. The House compromise planis $144.7 million in Fiscal Year 2014 and$195 million in Fiscal Year 2015.
Moving a Responsible StateBudget
Two years ago, Iowa faced a $900 mil-lion budget shortfall. Today, we have anending balance of $688 million and our budget reserves are full. This is a funda-mental change in legislative decisionmaking, driven by Iowans. This is a sig-nificant departure from how governmentoperated in the past where every dollar was spent, even some we didn’t have.House Republicans have instilled a fun-damental culture change and we will notretreat now. As we begin moving budgetbills through the House, we will remaincommitted to the principles used to getour fiscal house in order:
We will not spend more money thanthe state takes in;
We will not use one-time money topay for on-going expenses;
We will not intentionally underfundentitlement programs to balance thestate’s budget;
We will return unused tax dollars toIowa’s taxpayers.The overall amount of revenue that isavailable to be spent in Fiscal Year 2014is $7.1822 billion. This amount includesthe $688.1 million in the ending balancethat is an overpayment by Iowa taxpay-ers. The amount of ongoing revenuethat is available is $6.5377 billion. TheFiscal Year 2014 proposal by HouseRepublicans spends $6.4139 billion.This is a 3 percent increase over lastyear’s spending level and it protects pri-ority services in the areas of education,health and human services and publicsafety.The House Republican budget spends98 cents for every dollar of state reve-nue.