Saturday, October 11, 2008

News From Iowa House GOP Leader Chris Rants

Holes in the Budget

Today we called on Governor Cuvler and Speaker Murphy to let Iowans know how they plan to cover the more than $30 million shortfall they’ve created in the 2009 state budget.

As a result of yesterdays changes in revenue by the nonpartisan Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) that show a declining revenue in the state, the budget year we are currently in is out of balance. Only $7.5 million in revenue is available to cover a $36 million price tag for Medicaid, the state’s program to assist with health care for the elderly and disadvantaged. That leaves at least a $28.5 million gaping hole in the state's budget thanks to the Democrats runaway spending.

By law, the budget must remain balanced and today Leader Rants called on Democrat leaders to be upfront with Iowans and let them know their plan to balance the budget.

Democrats will have to act quickly to balance the state’s budget and they only have three options: increase taxes, cut the budget or both.

The governor has the power to initiate across the board budget cuts before January, however we’re doubtful Culver will have the courage to stand up to his party leaders.

My instincts are that the governor will play politics with the state’s budget and put his political party before the people of Iowa by waiting until after the November elections so he doesn’t hurt his party’s chance of winning.

Our country is on an economic downturn.

Our state is not insulated from the effects of that fact.

Our fiscal house is not in order, we have gaping holes in the budget and no one except Republicans will stand up and say it.

If there isn’t action soon, Democrats will be forced to raise taxes, make across the board cuts or both.

To see the documents from nonpartisan staff, visit my website.