From Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen:
Last week in the House, the State Government committee worked on the reorganization bill (SF 2088). The bill in its current form saves a little over $70 million.
In order for the Governor’s budget to balance, he needs a minimum $391 million in “general fund” spending reductions. About $30 million of that is expected to come through early retirements. Another $90 million will be achieved through the Governor’s savings that he achieved internally for a total $120 million in savings.
This leaves $271 million that needs to be saved through additional legislative decisions.
While Republicans and Democrats in the House have been able to come together and work on an initial bill in a bi-partisan manner, I believe we have the ability to go further and find even more savings and waste in government.
The following 14 proposals were offered by House Republicans this last week. These ideas totaled an additional $290 million but were defeated on a straight party line vote in the State Government committee.
- End all state benefits to illegal immigrant adults (savings $92.3 million)
- Combine administrative functions at the Regents universities (savings $62 million)
- Shift voluntary preschool responsibilities to Empowerment (savings $45 million)
- Eliminate the Power Fund and the Office of Energy Independence, reassign responsibilities (savings $25 million)
- Sell and completely privatize the state general purpose vehicle fleet (savings $18 million)
- Sell or lease the Iowa Communications Network (savings $15 million)
- Delay the implementation of K-12 core curriculum for one year (savings $10.5 million)
- Cancel all Regents sabbaticals for Fiscal Year 2011 (savings $6 million)
- Cut funding for office supplies, service contracts, equipment purchases (savings $5 million)
- Eliminate taxpayer-funded lobbyists (savings $4 million)
- Eliminate the Just Eliminate Lies (JEL) program (savings $2.25 million)
- Eliminate funding for empty shelter care beds (savings $2 million)
- Eliminate the family planning waiver (savings $2 million)
- Eliminate the Rebuild Iowa Office, give responsibilities to Homeland Security (savings $1 million)
Last year, House Republicans offered amendments which totaled over $330 million in government savings which means, with the help of Iowans and their ideas, we dove into the budgets to find over $600 million in efficiencies over the past two years. Not only are Republicans serious about government reorganization, we are serious about a more efficient state government that costs taxpayers less.
Repeal of Right to Work
One additional thing I wanted to make you aware of – late last Thursday in the Labor committee, House Democrats assigned a bill which would gut Iowa’s right to work law (House Study Bill 702). This is yet another attempt by House Democrats to take away Iowans’ choice to join a union.
As many of you know, Iowa’s right to work law guarantees that no person can be compelled, as a condition of employment, to join, not join or pay any fees to a labor union. Iowa’s right to work law has been in place since 1947. This bill is a direct attack on hard-working Iowans’ liberties.
It is simply wrong to tell someone they must give their hard-earned dollars to an organization they have chosen not to be a member of. A union is not forced to represent non-members. Unions chose forced monopoly bargaining. Now they also want payment for providing those sometimes unwanted services.
Under the Democrats’ plan, public employees who are non-union would be forced to pay a fee to the union as a condition of their employment, thus completely gutting Iowa’s right to work law.
The assigned sub-committee members for this bill are:
Rep. Geri Huser (email@example.com), D-Altoona
Rep. Bruce Hunter (firstname.lastname@example.org), D-Des Moines
and Rep. Lance Horbach (email@example.com), R-Tama
Feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions or concerns. You can call my office at (515) 281-3521 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.