Budget Shortfall Promises to be Contentious Issue in State Legislature

January 10, 2018 5:35 am

jake chapman

With the 2018 Iowa State Legislative session underway, one of the biggest topics of contention is the estimated $90 million shortfall in the coming budget.

In the previous legislative session, lawmakers had to account for a nearly $300 million shortfall. Though this year’s number is considerably smaller, legislators know they have their work cut out for them. State Senator Jake Chapman (R) believes the root of the budgeting problem lies with the Revenue Estimating Conference overprojecting what the state’s revenues are going to be. Thinking long term, Chapman has a plan that he feels will effectively limit how much the state spends each year.

“One of the bills that’s I’ve proposed over the last couple of years is the Trust Act. That ties our spending limitations to half the percentage of what household income growth is. That’s historically at about 3.5%, so our growth would be limited to 1.75%. (If) we were to do something like that, we wouldn’t be in these type of situations where we’re budgeting based on projections and those projections have historically been wrong.”

For the short term, Chapman says the legislature will have to dive back into the budget, find cuts they can make, and pass a de-appropriation bill. To hear more about the legislative session, listen to Monday’s Perry Fareway Let’s Talk Dallas County program at RaccoonValleyRadio.com.

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