State Auditor Dave Vaught says the state spending plan Democrat Governor Tom Vilsack is asking lawmakers to approve will put the state in a deeper financial hole. Vaught, who is a Republican, says his own calculations show Vilsack proposes spending 230-million more dollars than the state will collect in taxes. “I would not continue to do this type of practice if these were my own finances,” Vaught says. “Well, these are the taxpayers dollars and we need to make sure we’re handling them in the same manner we’d handle our own personal finances.”
Vaught warns the spending spree cannot continue. “I’ve always told people when you’re digging a hole and you get to the point where you cannot see out anymore, it’s time to stop digging,” Vaught says.
Vaught also says Vilsack’s budget outline does not include enough money to cover the state’s obligations to pay Medicaid claims, nor does it include enough to cover the negotiated salary increases for state workers. “Does that mean we’re going to have furloughs or lay-offs in the future?” Vaught asks. Vaught says he’s optimistic legislators will develop a “more responsible” plan for the state budget year which begins July 1st.