Following up on an earlier promise to bring more truth and transparency to the budgeting process, today House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) released a series of questions that will be used to help Republicans dive into the state budget and bring more 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.
“Iowans deserve to know where their hard-earned money is being spent,” said House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen. “We’re facing tough budget times and Republicans are here to help find ways to cut out pork spending, reduce waste and prevent abuse of taxpayer dollars. It’s time to bring some transparency back to budgeting.”
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 concern 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,” said Paulsen. “Now is the time for increased discussion, ideas and solutions. It’s not the time to shut the door on input and open meetings.”