The state of Iowa’s budget was deep in red ink at the end of the fiscal year last June 30th. A final report issued today shows the state ended the budgeting year 59-million dollars in the hole. Randy Bauer is Governor Tom Vilsack’s top budget advisor. He says expenditures were actually under estimates, but the slowdown in the state economy has impacted revenue collections. Bauer says it’s evidence the state’s in a recession. Bauer says the state was able to pay all its bills. He says there are two reserve funds that contain 500-million dollars and can be used to pay the bills if needed.House Speaker Brent Siegrist, a republican from Council Bluffs, says republicans can now say “I told you so” to democrat Governor Tom Vilsack. He says it points out what they were criticized for saying last session when they said the state needed to cut spending.Bauer, the Governor’s aide, bristles at that suggestion. He says “We do not feel that taking state troopers off the road, or reducing public safety is the correct approach.” He says the moves the governor made are the correct ones.Siegrist says republicans tried to tell Vilsack the state budget needed to be pared, but he resisted most of the cuts they suggested. As a result, he says “we’re in deep trouble hear.” Siegriest says only a week and a half ago the governor’s office said the debt was only three-and-a-half million dollars. He says just about four weeks ago the governor said republicans were trying to scare people by saying the problem was bigger than it was.Siegrist says the state’s finances have now gone from bad to horrible.
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