You Were Caught Sleeping

scottraeckerBy Rep. Scott Raecker, found on his site

Since I was a teenager my dad has said – “Nothing Good Ever Happens After Midnight!”

What is true for a teenager is also true for the legislature – and last night was again proof that nothing good happens after midnight at the Capitol.

Early this morning, between midnight and 4:21 am (when the legislature adjourned) the Majority Party Democrats caught Iowans sleeping – literally.

After working for fifteen weeks in secret meetings on the budget, the Majority Democrats rolled out the final four components of the state budget on Friday evening – the Standings Appropriation Bill, the Bonding Plan, the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Budget, and the plan to spend the Federal Stimulus Funds.

Bottom line – despite the worst economy in generations – the state of Iowa will spend more money next year – $6.3 billion – than in any year in our history (according to the non-partisan Legislative Service Agency).
In addition, after months of closed door meetings with no public input, the Majority Democrats rolled out a plan to spend $1.6 billion over the next 20/30 years by borrowing $765 million to spend now.

That is right – we are going to pay $899 million of interest/costs for 20 years so we can borrow and spend $750 million. The debt payments will be made from gambling revenue ($50 million a year) that is supposed to be dedicated to infrastructure projects.

We are not able to ‘pay-as-you-go’ for these projects because the majority party raids the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (gambling revenues) by spending 75% of the money on ‘pork projects’ and unauthorized spending on non-infrastructure expenses.

And the use of committed funds, one time cash reserve, and federal stimulus money will create an $890 million gap between revenue and spending for the next legislative session.

Iowans should be outraged – because while you were sleeping – nothing good happened after midnight.

  • The most spending in state history – $6.3 billion
  • Paying $1.6 billion over 20 years for $765 million of spending now
  • A budget ‘hole’ of $890 million for next year