New Fiscal Year Highlights Lack of Budget Transparency in Iowa

Today’s Des Moines Register editorialized about making state budget data more accessible. The Iowa House voted on this issue several times in 2009.

  • On March 10th, House Republicans attempted to add the budget transparency bill to a piece of legislation that created a lean enterprise office within the Department Management. The amendment was ruled out of order. Here is the vote to add the transparency bill: H-1108, March 10, 2009, House Journal Page 728.
  • On April 23rd, after the transparency language had been added to a larger budget bill, House Democrats voted to strip it out. Here is that vote: House File 809, April 23, 2009, House Journal Page 1666.
  • As part of House Republicans effort to make the state budget transparent and easily searchable to Iowans, an amendment was offered to make a searchable budget database available on January 1, 2010. The actual language of the transparency bill made the searchable budget database available on January 1, 2011. A date which falls after the 2010 election. House Republicans saw no reason to keep the information from the public until 2011. You can find that vote here: H-1270, March 24, 2009, House Journal Page 1010.
  • Today’s Register also has an article detailing the pay increase state employee’s will receive despite claims that a pay freeze was implemented. To avoid confusion over the compensation package the state employee’s union negotiates with the state, House Republicans offered an amendment that required costs associated with the collective bargaining agreement to be included in any searchable budget database. The amendment was defeated by House Democrats. You can find that vote here: H-1266, March 24, 2009, House Journal Page 1011.