On Tuesday, May 3, the House and Senate Republicans and Governor Branstad agreed to the total amount of general fund spending for FY 2012. The general fund budget will be just less than $6 billion. This amount is 97 percent of ongoing revenue and over $200 million less than the adjusted FY 2011 budget. It leaves over $300 million in the ending balance and brings the budget back to FY 2009 levels. The next step is getting the Senate Democrats to agree on the spending level. Once that is accomplished, the appropriations bills can be approved by both chambers and sent to the Governor.
Here is the current status of each of the appropriations bills:
- Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations – SF 509 – appropriates $32 million from the general fund and $77 million in other funds to Department of Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Status: approved by the Senate on March 21, approved by the House with amendment on April 7, awaiting debate for a second time in the Senate
- Economic Development Appropriations – SF 517 – appropriates nearly $37 million to the Department of Economic Development, the Department of Workforce Development and the Department of Cultural Affairs. Status: approved by the Senate on April 12, approved by the House with amendment on April 20, awaiting debate for a second time in the Senate
- Education Appropriations – HF 645 – appropriates nearly $800 million to community colleges, private colleges, Regents, teacher salaries and the Department of Education. Status: approved by the House on April 5, awaiting debate for the first time in the Senate
- Federal Block Grant Appropriations – SF 508 – appropriates $6.3 billion in federal funds to several state agencies. Status: approved by the Senate on March 21, the House added the FY 2013 appropriations and approved the bill on March 31, awaiting debate for a second time in Senate
- Health and Human Services Appropriations – HF 649 – appropriates nearly $1.5 billion to the Department on Aging (IDA), Departments of Public Health (DPH), Human Services (DHS), and Veterans Affairs (IVA), and the Iowa Veterans Home (IVH). Almost the entire increase of nearly $600 million is due to replacing one-time funds in the FY 2011 budget. Status: approved by the House on April 7, in the Senate awaiting debate for the first time
- Judicial Branch (Courts) Appropriations – SF 511 – appropriates $156.4 million in FY 2012 and $159.6 million in FY 2013 to the operations of the judicial branch. Status: originally approved by the Senate on March 23, approved by the House with amendment on April 5, approved by the Senate for a second time on April 20, in the House for a second time awaiting debate
- Justice System Appropriations – SF 510 – appropriates over $500 million in funding for the state’s justice system including prisons, state patrol, community-based corrections, Attorney General, public defender and indigent defense. Status: approved by the Senate on March 23, approved by the House with amendment on April 11, awaiting debate for the second time in the Senate
- Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund Appropriations – HF 648 – appropriates over $200 million in funding from Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF) for vertical infrastructure projects, the Environment First Fund and other infrastructure-related projects. Status: approved by the House on April 4, approved by the Senate with amendment on May 2, in House awaiting debate
- Standing Appropriations – SF 533 – authorizes the funding for several standing appropriations including over $2.5 billion for K-12 school and $145 million for the property tax credits. Status: approved by the Senate on May 3, awaiting debate by the House Appropriations Committee
- Transportation Appropriations – HF 689 – appropriates $346 million in FY 2012 and $350 million in FY 2013 to the DOT for road construction and maintenance. Status: original version of the bill vetoed by the Governor, HF 689 is on the House calendar awaiting debate
House Republicans will insist on approving a budget that spends no more than the state takes in, is sustainable and funds Iowans’ priorities, and gives the taxpayers a seat at the table.