Making Progress on the Budget


This week in the House we approved the first bill of the 2012 Legislative session, House File 2042, legislation to require all administrative rules created by state agencies to be accompanied by a ‘Jobs Impact Statement’. During these difficult economic times, we must not let cumbersome bureaucratic rules create uncertainty and add unnecessary expenses on Iowa’s employers.

HF 2042 is just one of many pro-job, pro-growth bills that the House is working on this year. We are committed to creating policies that put Iowans back to work. The best way to put Iowans back to work is to advance policies that create an environment that encourages employers to keep and create jobs right here in Iowa.

We are also making progress on the state budget as the budget subcommittees have begun the process of going through each budget, line by line. House Republicans are committed to making sure state government is efficient and effective. As we continue our work on the budget, there are a few important guidelines House Republicans will follow.

House Republicans rely on several commonsense budgeting principles:
We will align ongoing spending with ongoing revenue. Iowans cannot afford a government that spends more money than it takes in. Anything less jeopardizes Iowa’s long-term economic health.

We will end the practice of using one-time money for ongoing expenses. This is not how
Iowans balance their own checkbooks at home and it’s not how House Republicans will balance the state checkbook in Des Moines.

We will not intentionally underfund entitlement programs. House Republicans will protect education and Medicaid by getting the budget under control.

The House Republican 2012 Budget Targets Will Reflect a Long-Term Approach
As House Republicans begin to construct budgets, we will be keeping the long-term future of Iowa in mind. The past-practices of overspending in one budget year and then slashing budgets with across the board cuts the next year only leads to more uncertainty and instability, hurting Iowans and employers.

The General Assembly has a history of increasing government spending and using budget tricks to spend more than the state has in ongoing revenue. Repeating this history means in a few years legislators will be dealing with the same problems. House Republicans are committed to passing budgets that are fact-based and accountable to Iowans and not returning to the bad budgeting practices of the past.

The governor has constructed a budget which spends less than the state has in ongoing revenue. House Republicans believe this is a good start but will continue to seek savings and efficiencies to provide Iowans with the certainty they need to plan for the long-term.

Controlling Government Spending and Creating Jobs Go Hand in Hand:
Iowa’s employers need a commitment from the Legislature to keep government from spending more than it takes in. Spending more than the state receives will lead to tax increases for Iowans and employers. They need the certainty that this will not happen.

Our plan of action is to have a responsible state budget that contributes instead of takes away from economic, family and community health. Hard-working Iowans want opportunities for quality jobs that will develop into careers. They desire the peace of mind to plan for their futures.

I look forward to the progress being made on the budget and giving Iowans a budget they deserve and expect – one that uses their tax dollars wisely.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at kraig.paulsen@legis.state.ia.us or my office at (515) 281-3521

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