From Senator Rich Taylor

Written by Theresa Rose on April 17, 2015

BUDGET PRIORITIES WILL EXPAND IOWA’S MIDDLE CLASS

This week the Iowa Senate released a budget proposal that will expand Iowa’s middle class while maintaining fiscal responsibility. Our overall budget is equal to that proposed by Governor Branstad, saves taxpayer dollars and breaks this session’s on-going logjam on school funding.

Our plan calls for a compromise 2.625 percent increase in state support for Iowa’s local schools. It also calls for a tuition freeze at our state universities for the third consecutive year and for fully funding property tax credits and a commercial property tax cut that is especially helpful to our small businesses.

Under Iowa law, the Legislature never spends more than 99 percent of what it takes in. In fact, this year’s Senate proposal is $149.1 million below that 99 percent mark. We use a cautious approach to determining how much to spend by looking at the recent revenue estimates of a nonpartisan panel of experts, then budget according to the more conservative estimate.

Each year, at least 1 percent of the state budget goes into savings accounts, which include a cash reserve fund and an economic emergency fund.

With the budget proposal that Senate Democrats released for Fiscal Year 2016 (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016), we expect to have a surplus of about $225 million when the fiscal year ends. In addition, our reserve funds will be full with $717 million, the largest amount in state history.

Our budget proposal is sustainable, spends less than the state takes in and invests in expanding Iowa’s middle class by helping workers gain new skills, improving our schools and growing local businesses.

Read more at www.senate.iowa.gov/democrats/?p=20252.

UPCOMING PUBLIC FORUMS

• Friday, April 17, 12 Noon: Fort Madison at the Palm’s Supper Club

• Saturday, April 18, 8:30 a.m.: Fairfield at the Best Western Hotel

• Saturday, April 18, 10 a.m.: Washington Economic Development Legislative Forum at the Washington County Courthouse

• Friday, April 24, 12 Noon: Keokuk at the Hawkeye Steak House

• Saturday, April 25, 8:30 a.m.: Mount Pleasant at the IWC Library

Additional information

This is a legislative update from Senator Rich Taylor, representing Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties. For newsletters, photos and further information, go to www.senate.iowa.gov/senator/taylor.

To contact Senator Taylor during session, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise he can be reached at home at 319-931-1568. E-mail him at rich.taylor@legis.iowa.gov.

Senator Taylor is chair of the Local Government Committee. He also serves on the Economic Growth, Human Resources, Judiciary, and Justice Systems Budget committees.