Setting the Record Straight: A Response to the Governor's Office

fixingthebudgetThe Governor’s office claimed yesterday that “Republicans failed to offer solutions.” This is a response to yesterday’s statement from the governor’s spokesperson, Troy Price.

Republicans have laid out a detailed agenda for the 2010 legislative session. Republicans have had over $300 million in state savings on the table since last spring and today Leader Paulsen offered more ideas to save taxpayers money. In fact, with only a little over a month left before the 2010 session starts, Republicans have offered the only agenda and the only ideas on how to reduce state spending. It is unfortunate that Governor Culver has been reduced to throwing partisan punches instead of offering ideas.

Below you will find the House Republicans’ cost-saving measures and solutions which we offered as amendments during the 2009 legislative session as well as our plans for the 2010 session.

Iowa Republicans (Senate, House and State GOP) have released 5 out of 6 of their “Iowa Solutions” which is the Republican plan for the 2010 legislative session. Those initiatives include: family budget, education, health care, open government and liberty. The jobs initiative will be rolled out in December. To read those complete plans, please visit our website at

Additionally, Leader Paulsen outlined new budget efficiencies today during a meeting with the Des Moines Register editorial board which include:

  • Merge the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy with the Department of Public Safety: This came from the department’s own recommendation from 2009 and is estimated to save $187,417 a year. They have their own offices rented, 8 full-time employees, and a budget of $313,000. This is clearly something that DPS is equipped to handle.
  • Merge the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy with the Department of Public Safety: Same thing as above, comes from the department’s own recommendations and would consolidate offices. Estimated to save $145,770.
  • Power fund: eliminate the power fund – approximately $25 million annually.
  • Eliminate “government liaisons” or taxpayer funded lobbyists.
  • Freeze the spending of ½ of 1 percent that must be spent on art for state buildings.
  • Eliminate the state-published newsletters and magazines.
  • Eliminate advertising expenses

These ideas will also be offered by House Republicans during the 2010 legislative session.

In addition to these ideas discussed yesterday, the following press releases from earlier in the year outline the savings that Republicans offered during the session. All of which were rejected by the majority party.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Contact: Josie Klingaman (515) 419-1038

Republicans Present Budget-Saving Measures to Democrats

(DES MOINES)—Today House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) released a comprehensive list of more than $215 million in budget-saving measures he will be presenting to Democrat legislative leaders.

“On the first day of the legislative session, I indicated that House Republicans would be diving into state budgets to find serious savings for the taxpayers of Iowa,” said Paulsen. “Today we are here to offer a list that goes to reducing the size and scope of state government, that brings more accountability to budgeting and reduces unnecessary spending.”

The following is the list House Republicans presented to Democrats:

  • Eliminate ‘phantom employees,’ unfilled and funded full time employee positions. (Savings: $25,000,000)
  • A pay reduction for all state employees and officials. (Savings: 72,500,000)
    -sliding scale of 2% cut for $40,000 to 10% cut for over $100,000

  • Charge state employees a monthly fee for health insurance premiums. (Savings: $17,800,000)
  • Sell the vehicle fleet, outsource vehicle leasing. (Savings: $34,000,000)
    -One-time infusion due to sale, ongoing savings of $18 million less the money for leasing

  • Reduce office supplies, service contracts, and equipment purchases. (Savings: $10,000,000)
  • Combine all state information technology systems. (Savings: $20,000,000)
    – Including combining the 6 different email systems

  • Sell or lease the Iowa Communications Network. (Savings: $15,000,000)
  • Reduce funding for library acquisitions at Regents by 50%. (Savings: $13,500,000)
  • No DNR land acquisition for FY 2010. (Savings: $5,000,000)
  • Freeze all out-of-state travel. (Savings: $1,500,000)
    – allow a waiver process via Executive Council for critical functions

  • Eliminate ‘extras’ on existing state vehicle purchases. (Savings: $87,000)
    – bug shields, stereos, GPS systems and other add-ons

  • Archiving Iowa governor’s records. (Savings: $39,000)
    – reduce by 50%

  • Eliminate Washington, DC internship. (Savings: $90,000)
    – seek private funding

  • Eliminate charter flights by members of DOT commission. (Savings: $17,000)
  • Suspend per diem for ex-officio members on boards & commissions. (*direct savings unknown at this time)
  • Require all employees to turn in receipts for meal expenses. (*direct savings unknown at this time)


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Contact: Josie Klingaman (515) 419-1038

House Republicans Continue With Budget Savings

(DES MOINES)—House Republicans offered another $52.9 million in cost-saving measures to the education budget bill brought up in the House today.

“From day one, House Republicans promised to dive into budgets and find savings. Today we delivered on that promise for Iowans,” said House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha). “Instead of funding more bureaucracy, Republicans believe we need to fund students and classrooms.”

To date, House Republicans have offered more than $200 million in cost-saving measures to budget bills. Of these, House Democrats have accepted less than $2 million.

Below is a list of amendments, a brief description and the amount of savings that were offered by House Republicans to Senate File 470, the education budget bill.

H-1553 by Raecker – Regents Library Acquisitions Page 12, line 17: For one year the Regents universities are required to spend 50% less on library acquisitions. Savings: $12 million

H-1546 by VanEngelenhoven – Executive Council approves out-of-state travel. Savings: $1 million

H-1547 by May – 20% reduction in printing, binding; 50% reduction in advertising. Savings: $3.5 million

H-1552 by Dolecheck – Eliminates all funded, unfilled FTE positions that have been open for 6 months. Savings: $700,000

H-1554 by Raecker – 50% reduction for all office supplies, service contracts, equipment purchases. Savings: $23 million

H-1555 by Tymeson – Prohibits expenditures for cell phones and PDAs for state employees. Savings: $500,000

H-1556 by Rants – Fleet purchases deferred. Savings: $11 million

H-1557 by Koester – State employees must provide meal receipts instead of claiming maximum. Agency may require electronic submission of receipts. Savings: $500,000

H-1566 by Tymeson – Identical to Wendt amendment which strikes repeal of MHEC. Savings: $450,000

H-1572 by Kaufmann and Struyk – Limit on Regents Sabbaticals. Savings: $250,000