BUDGET SURPLUS: Lawmakers Consider Options

Posted on: 12:36 am, December 27, 2012, by , updated on: 12:17am, December 27, 2012

Generic State Budget

Iowa lawmakers are due back at the Capitol in just a few weeks.

One of the biggest tasks of the upcoming session will be how to spend or save a budget surplus.

The Des Moines Register reports the state is more than $800-million in the black.

State leaders attribute the surplus to modest spending and a strong state economy.

As for how that money should be used, Republicans say they’re in favor of tax breaks while Democrats hope to invest it on education, human services and infrastructure projects.

“My expectation is there may be a few one-time needs, that we might plug a hole somewhere or another, but it’s not our money,” Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsensaid. “It’s the taxpayers’ money, and we need to find a way to get it back to them.”

“We have a silent crisis in the number of kids and the number of our children living in poverty in our state,” State Senator, Joe Bolkcomsaid. “One of my top priorities will be addressing that crisis as a matter of tax policy. We need to use some of this tax surplus to make a substantial boost in the earned income tax credit.”