Senate Budget Deal Sent to the Iowa House
Senate Budget Bill 012717
The Iowa Senate approved a bill yesterday to address a 118-million-dollar budget deficit. The Republican plan avoids any cuts for K-12 education and Medicaid. It includes a total of $18 million-dollars in cuts from the three state universities and $3 million-dollars in reductions for community colleges. However, those cuts are much less than Governor Terry Branstad originally requested.
Minority Democrats like Story County Senator Herman Quirmbach (Corn-bach) of Ames said he was disappointed that the proposal left the budget for governor's office untouched.
“I think that the governor’s office should share in the sacrifice. Unfortunately, and really, almost offensively to me, this bill requires not one single dime of sacrifice from the governor’s office. He doesn’t have to give up a single flower pot.”
Qurimbach put up a failed amendment to shift 200-thousand dollars from the general fund for a new jobs training program. Republican Senator Charles Schnieder of Dallas County voted against it, saying the state has already set aside a job training fund.
“One big benefit to having this fund, is not only that we are able to dedicate specific funds to job training and economic development programs, but we can also protect those funds from unnecessary cuts like the ones in this bill that were caused by overspending.”
The budget bill now goes to the House, where it is expected to be approved Monday, before being sent to Governor Branstad for his signature.