Iowa Strong: Budget Leadership


As you may remember, Republicans have united to launch a new initiative that they will take to Iowa voters ahead of the election. The governor and lieutenant governor joined with House and Senate Republicans and the Republican Party of Iowa to create the Iowa Strong plan.

This plan has three main components – Strong Economy, Strong Budget Leadership and Strong Schools and Communities.

Throughout this fall Republicans will travel the state releasing more details of our plan and outlining a positive action plan to promote a durable and prosperous Iowa. We have already announced the details of our Iowa Strong Economy initiative, which can be found here: http://kraigpaulsen.com/blog/?p=333

Yesterday, we announced the details of our Iowa Strong Budget Leadership initiative. Details of the plan are as follows:

Create certainty with balanced budgets that spend less than we take in
Constitutional Spending Limit—Put the 99% spending limit into the Constitution so taxpayers will have permanent protection against excessive state spending. A law can be easily repealed or temporarily suspended to allow spending beyond our revenue.

Super Majority Vote to Approve State Debt– Require a 60% majority vote in the Iowa House and Senate, as well as the governor’s signature, to authorize state borrowing. Gov. Culver’s IJOBS borrowing scheme is costing Iowa taxpayers $55 million a year and will continue to do so for the next 20 years.

Save taxpayers’ money by operating an efficient and effective government
Reduce Boards and Commissions and Review Regulations—Embark on a process of review and reform that result in the elimination of at least 25% of all state boards and commissions. Require a comprehensive review to simplify, update, streamline and eliminate outdated or burdensome administrative rules.

Fight Fraud with Technology—Make sound investments in new technology to intensify state efforts to identify and eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in the provision of state benefits.

Implement sensible state government pay and benefits
Fair Pay and Benefit Plans – Agree on a pay and benefits plan that is fair to both state employees and taxpayers.

Everyone Contributes to Health Insurance – Require all state employees to pay a portion of the health insurance. Over 80% of all state employees pay nothing for their health insurance which is out of step with the vast majority of Iowa taxpayers.

Encourage a stable and predictable business climate that provides certainty for job creators to begin investing and hiring
Biennial State Budget – Adopt a two year budget for state government in the first year of a General Assembly. Biennial budgeting results in slower spending growth and provides stability and predictability for those receiving the services as well as those taxpayers paying the bills.

Lower Iowa’s High Income and Property Taxes–In addition to a stable business climate, businesses and homeowners need to understand Iowa’s commitment to reducing our high income and property taxes. The state can directly aid job growth by creating a more competitive tax climate that invites investment and development in Iowa.

We will be rolling out the final installment of the Iowa Strong plan shortly. In the meantime, feel free to contact me at (515) 281-3521 or kraig.paulsen@legis.state.ia.us if you have any questions or concerns.

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