The 2014 Legislative session is winding down, but there are several key issues to discuss before adjourning. One of those is voting on the individual budget bills. Several weeks ago, the House and Senate offered joint budget targets. The proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget is an increase of 7.4 percent over the FY2014 budget, more than double the historic revenue growth of 3.6 percent.
The Senate will begin voting on budget bills in the coming days. You may be assured that Senate Republicans will stand up for the taxpayers. It’s unacceptable to me that the 7.4 percent increase is nearly twice as much as what Iowa family budgets grow annually.
On the positive side, the Revenue Estimating Conference met last week and the March estimates for FY 2014 and FY 2015 remain unchanged compared to the December estimates. The anticipated growth for FY 2015 compared to the estimate for FY 2014 is 4.5 percent. The ongoing revenues remain at $6,983.2 million. Ongoing revenues after adjusting for the military pension tax elimination are $6,974 million, with spending targets set at $6,971 million.
Though the revenue estimates remain unchanged, this should not give Senate Democrats, who have a never-ending appetite for taxpayer money, the green light to increase spending. Please know Senate Republicans are minding the store and will fight diligently to ensure Iowans’ tax dollars are not spent frivolously in the next several weeks.
There is one legislative forum still on the calendar for this year. I will be at the Bridgeview Center in Ottumwa at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 5.
Sen. Ken Rozenboom