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State’s Auditor Gives Budget A “B-plus,”, Cites Concerns

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DES MOINES, Iowa--Iowa's State Auditor Mary Mosiman didn't exactly jump up and down with glee Monday in her office after reviewing the budget for the coming year that begins July 1st. But most of her comments were relatively positive:

"I'm actually pretty pleased with this year's budget."

"The budget is stable and responsible."

"Iowa's revenues are moderate."

Two of Mosiman's daughters are teachers. And when pressed by reporters to give the $8.5 billion upcoming budget a letter grade, Mosiman cited her daughter/teachers. "I know not to just give blanket 'A's,'" she said.

Then she offered a 'B-plus.'

Among her concerns:

--The state begins assuming a share of the cost of expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act (up until this year, the federal government picked up the entire cost).

--The budget includes only $80 million in a carried over surplus from the previous (it had recently been 10 times that high, but has been reduced because of significant costs associated with property tax cuts and educational spending increases).

She declined to say whether it makes financial sense for the state to bond to cover the costs associated with replacing decaying office facilities like the Wallace Building, State Historical Building and Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.

Here is Mosiman's full review.