Gov. Reynolds Turning to State Reserves for $50 Million in Funding

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IOWA  --  Iowa's finances could be in trouble, and for a third time this year the state is taking steps to make sure the budget remains balanced.

State revenue is growing, but is far short of what was projected and what the budget is based on. The first cut came during the legislative session; lawmakers trimmed the current year's budget by $118 million and then tapped reserve funding for another $131 million. Now, Governor Reynolds is again turning to state reserves for another $50 million.

Reynolds says a slow farm economy is one reason why.

"Low commodity prices has had a ripple effect all across other sectors of our economy. Many of our factory jobs are tied to a strong ag economy, and when we see corn prices over the last two years go from $8 a bushel to $3 a bushel, purchasing behaviors change. Farmers aren't upgrading their equipment, and that's not only affecting our manufacturers, but also sellers," she said.

The $50 million is the most Governor Reynolds is allowed to use from the emergency fund. If the shortfall ends up being greater than that, Reynolds will need lawmakers to sign off on additional funding.

"That's what we're looking at right now, is that if it would be above that then we would have to call a special session and bring the legislators back."

Reynolds says worker furloughs are not being considered at this point and that all education and Medicaid payments will be made on time.


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