House Republicans Call for More Transparency and Oversight in the Budget Process

From this week’s House Republican Newsletter:

On January 21, House Republicans released a series of questions aimed at helping legislators of both parties dive into the state budget and bring more transparency and accountability to taxpayers.

Republicans have made Democrat leadership, department heads and staffs aware of their questions and House Republican Ranking Members will be investigating where each taxpayer dollar is spent and relaying that information back to Iowans. Republicans will be asking:

  • How many new full-time employee positions have you added since 2007? Provide a listing of all full-time employee positions, complete with job titles, salary and benefits for the position and whether the position is filled? If it is not filled, how long has the full-time employee position been open?
  • How will you implement the across the board cut?
  • Provide us with the list of suggested cuts you provided to the governor in the fall of 2008?
  • If you were forced to cut your budget by 10 percent, what suggestions would you have to reduce the budget and / or reduce the responsibilities of your department?
  • What assets does your department have that can be leased or sold? What services do you provide that could be privatized or outsourced?

Republicans also raised concerns about the Democrats decision to cut regularly held and public budget subcommittee meetings. These subcommittee meetings are held at the beginning of each legislative session and typically consist of at least three meetings a week. Recently, Democrats have decided to cut back to two meetings a week.

During these tough economic times and when our state is facing serious budget constraints, it’s troublesome that the Democrats are willing to cut Iowans out of the process. Now is the time for increased discussion, ideas and solutions. It’s not the time to shut the door on input and open meetings.

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