DES MOINES, Iowa - With the clock ticking on the 2015 legislative session, House Republicans released their target budget for the 2016 fiscal year.
Under their plan, $7.175 billion would be spent as follows:
- Administration and Regulation -- $49.8 million
- Agriculture and Natural Resources -- $42.0 million
- Economic Development -- $41.4 million
- Education -- $977.6 million
- Health and Human Services $1.8 billion
- Justice Systems -- $728.0 million
- Standings -- $3.5 billion (K-12 education under this)
Last week, Senate Democrats released a budget calling for $7.341 billion in spending, a total they say is in line with what Governor Branstad has proposed. The budget includes a 2.625 percent increase in school funding, an additional $155 million for local school districts.
"That's affordable, that's doable for Iowa's children and moves education forward in this state," said Rep. Mark Smith, a Democrat from District 71.
The budget proposed by House Republicans includes a 1.25 percent increase in school spending, or $100 million in additional aid to schools.
“It is important to Iowans that we do not spend more than we have and live within our means. While standing by this principle for the last five legislative sessions, Republicans have found common ground with the Governor and Senate Democrats. We expect to continue those efforts this year,” said Rep. Chuck Soderberg (R-Le Mars).
There are currently no meetings set between the conference committee in charge of hashing out a school spending bill.