Republicans were quick to criticize Democratic Governor Chet Culver’s decision to order a 10 percent across-the-board cut in the state budget.
Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley says Culver and his fellow Democrats had ignored the signs of a looming fiscal crisis and the cut Culver ordered may lead to higher property taxes as schools seek to make up for the cut. Representative Chris Rants of Sioux City, a Republican candidate for governor, has argued Culver should have called legislators back into special session to make selective cuts.
“I think an across-the-board cut is a dumb and lazy way to do things. There’s a smarter way to do it,” Rants says. “…You can call the legislature back for a one-day session, make smarter cuts, put the budget back into balance.”
According to Governor Culver, “immediate action” was necessary, and there was no guarantee 150 legislators could quickly strike an agreement to fix the budget.
“I have ruled out a special session for two reasons,” Culver said earlier today during a statehouse news conference. “First, the outcome of a special session would be uncertain. Second, the affects of a special session and any action taken could take several weeks to actually be implemented.”
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats of Sioux City says Culver failed to heed the warning signs and signed a budget that was “exorbitant.” According to Vander Plaats, “state employees are going to pay a high price for (Culver’s) fiscal irresponsibility.”