Budget Savings Voted Down on Key Budget Bill

From this week’s House Republican Newsletter:

House Republicans Offer $100 Million in Savings to Administration and Regulation Budget

On Tuesday, April 7, the House debated House File 809, the Administration and Regulation budget for FY 2010. House Republicans offered $100 million in line-by-line spending reductions. Many of these items were outlined by House Republicans as part of the package that would save state government $200 million.

Here is a breakdown of the amendments:

  • H-1422 by Alons et al Requires an RFP to privatize grass cutting and yard work at the Capitol complex –savings of at least $100,000
  • H-1410 by Raecker and entire caucus Requires DAS to privatize the state vehicle fleet – savings of $27 million in FY 2010, $10 million in FY 2011 and beyond
  • H-1414 by Wagner et al 50% reduction for all office supplies, service contracts, equipment purchases – savings of $2.1 million in FY 2010
  • H-1415 by Alons et al 20% reduction for all printing, binding, communications and a 50% reduction for advertising and publicity – savings of $450,000 in FY 2010
  • H-1417 by Raecker et al Prohibits expenditures for cell phones and PDAs for state employees – savings unknown but potentially thousands of dollars in FY 2010
  • H-1418 by Raecker et al Prohibits purchases for the state vehicle fleet until June 30, 2010 – savings of $11 million in FY 2010
  • H-1423 by Watts et al Requires an RFP to lease or sell the Iowa Communications Network – savings of $15 million in FY 2010
  • H-1419 by Helland et al Eliminates all funded, unfilled FTE positions that have been open for six months – savings of $25 million state government-wide
  • H-1424 by Wagner et al Requires consolidation of state information technology and email systems – savings of at least $20 million, possibly much more in FY 2010

The Democrats accepted five amendments that would save the state $400,000:

  • H-1412 by Raecker Prohibits the purchase of vehicle add-ons like GPS systems and bug shields
  • H-1413 by Raecker Suspends per diem for legislative ex officio members for FY 2010
  • H-1416 by Raecker State employees must provide meal receipts instead of claiming maximum
  • H-1420 by Alons Prohibits all out-of-state travel with a waiver process via Executive Council
  • H-1432 by Pettengill Adds the language from HF 801, the House-approved transparency bill

The bottom line is that while House Republicans offered amendments that would have saved taxpayers $100 million (and brought the Democrats’ budget into balance), the Democrats chose to only nibble around the edges and accept a mere $400,000 in cuts.

As the budget process moves forward, House Republicans will continue to go through the budget on a line-by-line basis to find ways to make state government leaner and more efficient.