The state auditor is chiding Iowa lawmakers for raiding the cookie jar. Republican Dave Vaudt says his review of the 2006 budget approved in May shows the legislature and governor once again spent more money than the state is expected to collect in taxes… forcing them to borrow 346 million dollars from special savings accounts. He says this is the sixth year in a row they’ve relied on shifting money from other funds, and the eighth year the legislature’s spent more than the expected revenue source. Vaudt says it’s time for the legislature and governor to spend within their means and repay the money they’ve borrowed from special savings accounts over the past six years. He compared them to little kids in a candy store. They should calculate how much they can get, but Vaudt charges instead they go “I want this, and I want this, and I want that.” He compares it to the kid in the candy store asking for more than he has the money for, except the state leaders aren’t limited by the money in their pocket, and take it from other funds and special accounts. Vaudt’s been saying the same thing, and noting the same spending pattern, for several years now. Is he discouraged? “No, I’m really not,” he insists. “In fact, I’m encouraged.” I’ve always known in government nothing happens fast. The key thing is to see progress.” Vaudt says he does see some change and finds that encouraging. The auditor says the legislature and governor borrowed less money from special savings accounts than the year before. In 2005 lawmakers diverted 420-Million dollars from rainy day accounts.
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