$50 Million Budget Slashing Bill Approved by Iowa Senate Subcommittee

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  The State Senate took the first step towards re-balancing the state's Fiscal Year 2018 budget on Thursday afternoon.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate and Governor Reynolds all knew coming into this session they'd have to cut the current year's budget.  On Thursday the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee finally put a number on how drastic the cuts would be.

SSB 3089 calls for cutting $50 million from the budget year that ends on June 30th.  To accomplish those cuts numerous departments will see major cuts :

  • Regent universities (UI, Iowa State and UNI): $19.3 million
  • Community colleges: $5.4 million
  • Dept. of Human Services: $9 million
  • Judicial Branch: $4 million
  • Dept. of Corrections: $3 million

The bill does not call for any cuts to K-12 education or Medicaid.  The bill passed the subcommittee on a 13-8 vote.  It could go before the full Senate as soon as next week.

This will be the second consecutive year that a de-appropriation bill is needed to balance a budget in the middle of the fiscal year.  The Reynolds administration, and the Branstad administration before her, have blamed a downturn in the farm economy for the state's revenue shortfall.  Democratic leaders blame the tax cuts approved by Governor Branstad and corporate tax credits for starving the state of tax revenue.