Iowa is in the black.
“We outperformed our estimates,” says David Roederer, Chair of the Revenue Estimating Conference.
Wednesday morning, the REC went over the numbers that lawmakers will use to balance the budget. State revenue is expected to grow by 3% next year. That’s a $222 million increase. The three-member panel says the uncertainty of going over the fiscal cliff in Washington has thrown a “wet blanket” over the state.
“I think we`re about to go through an extreme makeover, but I just don`t know what the end of that extreme makeover is going to be. Don`t know whether it`s going to be painful, very painful or seriously painful, but it is going to have an impact on our country,” says Roederer.
With a bump in revenue, there’s no more across the board cuts in the state’s future.
“We have the state in the strongest fiscal position that it`s been for a time. However, there are some big concerns about federal fiscal cliff, the impact it has on state budget, but also the impact that it has on business decision-making and jobs in our state,” says Gov. Terry Branstad.
The Governor will use Wednesday’s numbers from the REC to add up his budget. It will be released on January 15th during his condition of the state address.
Iowa legislators reacted to the latest revenue estimates. Republican leadership said it is “encouraged” by the numbers, but the state needs to keep spending “responsibly”. Democrats say the rebounding economy provides an opportunity to invest back in the state.
“The Revenue Estimating Conference numbers are very strong. They`re optimistic. Again, the budget forecasting out for ’13 is $6.5 billion and for 2014 is $6.7. That shows that we have a healthy economy,” says State Rep. David Jacoby, (D) District 30.