The state auditor says Iowa lawmakers may have to take drastic steps to keep the budget in the black. Richard Johnson is suggesting that legislators freeze salaries for state workers.If it’s serious, Johnson says state unions would prefer a salary freeze to layoffs. Johnson’s also proposing an across-the-board budget-cut for state agencies. He says the governor’s plan to spare K-through-12 schools and other programs would put too much of the burden on state public universities.He says to come up with the amount needed, the state has to do something drastic. Johnson agrees that the public-safety budget should be exempt from cuts. The longtime auditor released a ten-point plan to address the state’s budget shortfall. Johnson is not seeking re-election as auditor. He’s running for Iowa’s third district congressional seat.
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