State leaders are going over their budgets trying to determine how they will cut the 10% ordered by the governor to make up the state’s budget deficit. State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald says his office and others are looking over everything right now.
Fitzgerald says the cut is “significant” as he says his office was already working on a “pretty lean” budget as it is. But he says they will find a way to make the cut. Fitzgerald, a Democrat, says the governor did the right thing by making the big cut.
Fitzgerald says the cut is a “very crucial point” to keeping the state’s bond rating. “It tells the people that own our bonds, it tells Wall Street analysts, that we have a state government that’ll step up early, balance the budget, and that they are serious about balancing the budget,” Fitzgerald says.
He says it’s a “very strong” signal that the state makes tough financial decisions and makes them on time. Fitzgerald says Iowa is in better shape than other states that are facing budget problems, and says there are good signs that things may have hit bottom. Fitzgerald cites the wind energy company in Newton that is hiring back workers, and he says financial firms in Des Moines are hiring. He says those are good signs and along with a bumper crop this harvest, he’s hopeful in the next six months the state can bounce back. Fitzgerald says his office had already been putting off equipment purchases and will have to look at other ways to meet the cutback in the budget.