The Paulsen Perspective: The Time for Action is Now

SpeakerKP

Another week has gone by and still we have seen no action from the Senate Democrats on approving school funding and sending it to the governor’s desk. Nor have we received details on what budget items they intend to cut to fund their plan.

The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) meets multiple times a year to determine how much revenue is coming into the state. This in turn outlines the parameters for state spending. In December, when the REC met they noted that revenues were not coming in at the rates they once anticipated. That said, there would be about $200 million more in revenue available for the legislature to spend. As the House has begun moving their K-12 education funding bill, we are outlining an increase of $100 million for Iowa’s schools. That’s HALF of all the new revenue coming into the state before any other budget commitment has been made. Overall, the state spends nearly 42% of its budget on K-12 education – and with our new education spending by the state will have increased $570 million over the past five years. Anyone who says the Iowa taxpayers are not making a serious commitment to education in this state is being disingenuous.

While this is a significant investment in the state’s education, it is also a promise I am confident we can maintain. Schools shouldn’t have to worry about looking over their shoulder, wondering if a giant cut in their funding is coming. House Republicans will not put them in that position.

If we truly want the best for our kids we must properly fund their future but ensure it is funding they can count on and we must do it now.

This week the House took action on House File 573. The bill provides that prior to performing an abortion, a doctor who’s performing an ultrasound must give the expectant mother an opportunity to view the image of the child and/or hear the heartbeat.

One other item I wanted to point out to you is House Study Bill 215, a bill to cut income taxes for Iowans, has been assigned in the House Ways and Means committee. House Republicans will continue our work to take less money out of your pocket.

As always, please contact me at (515) 281-3521 or kraig.paulsen@legis.iowa.gov with your questions or concerns.

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Dansette