On Wednesday, February 17, the Democrats released partial budget targets for the subcommittees. Once again, they only released the targets for the budget subcommittees, which flies in the face of budget transparency and being truthful to Iowans about the real cost of state government services.
This only shows roughly $2.5 billion of the general fund budget. The release shows that the Democrats are $475 million below the Governor in the subcommittee areas and will approve a general fund budget that spends the same amount as FY 2010.
Most of the reduction is in HHS, which would likely be an underfunding of Medicaid. This simply pushes the problem off until January because Medicaid is an entitlement and must be funded.
The release of partial targets does not give a sense of how much K-12 education will be underfunded, how much money will be shifted from the Cash Reserve Fund, or how much tax credits will be reduced.
Because the lack of detail makes it impossible to compare apples to apples, there is no way to know how much of the spending gap is being reduced by due to the budget subcommittee targets.
House Republicans will be reviewing the Democrats’ budget plan to if it does the following:
- The budget does not spend more than the state takes in
- Does not raise taxes, including property taxes
- Proposes real government efficiency and reorganization
In addition, House Republicans will continue to offer budget savings ideas, including the $290 million in reductions offered on Senate File 2088, the State Government Reorganization bill.