Recently, the Branstad Administration, Senate Republicans and House Republicans stood unified together and presented Iowans with a common sense budget proposal that moves Iowa forward, brings the 2011 session to a close and averts a looming government shutdown.
On Wednesday of last week, the Iowa House of Representatives passed this proposal. While the Senate went another week without meeting.
The new proposal accomplishes the goals of reducing the budget, gives taxpayers a greater seat at the table, sends the signal that Iowa is re-open for job creation and business and yet provides Iowa with a sustainable, long-term budget vision.
While we continue to remain committed to sitting down with Senate Democrats if they are willing to come back to the table and negotiate in good faith, it should be clear that we are not going to spend more than $5.99 billion dollars.
Though the size of the overall budget pie may be set, there is still ample flexibility to determine how the pie will be cut in order to accommodate Senate Democrat demands if they are willing to share them. To date, Senate Democrats have not laid out any specific proposals and instead have just made it clear that they only want to spend more money.
In fact, Senate Democrats are willing to shut down state government over demands to spend more money. Their spending demands would actually continue to have the state spend more money than it takes in.
The budget bills that Senate Democrats passed earlier in this session, which garnered Senate Republican opposition, would continue to rely heavily on one-time dollars to pay for ongoing expenses. This would amount to a continuation of the Culver budgeting practices that lead us to deep across-the-board cuts and four years of fiscal volatility.
Senate Republicans were not elected to continue those reckless past practices.
Instead, Senate Republicans remain committed to working with all interested parties in moving this state forward.
It is time for the Senate Democrats to come back to the work, get serious about doing the people's business and take action on this common sense budget and tax relief compromise instead of continuing their plans to push Iowa toward a government shutdown.
It is time to pass this budget and tax relief plan, finish the people's business and guarantee the citizens of Iowa that they will not have to endure the uncertainty of a government shutdown.
Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to serve you in the Iowa Senate. If you have questions, comments or ideas please feel free to contact me at (712)898-2505 or send an email to email@example.com. I would encourage you to forward my newsletter on to your family and friends. Until next time, have a great week.