Governor Branstad today followed through on his pledge to use his veto power if the legislature didn’t send him two-year budget proposals by vetoing the transportation funding bill, and part of a another bill that funded legal representation for the poor.
Branstad, a Republican, says he wants to work with the other party but feels he needed to send a message. “I wanted to make it clear by vetoing the very first appropriations bill that we are dead serious about doing a biennial budget,” Branstad said.
Branstad returned to office by beating incumbent Democrat Chet Culver. He says voters gave him a mandate after he campaigned on turning around the state’s financial situation. “Not very often in this state’s history have we turned out an incumbent governor and I think one of the reasons for it was the mismanagement of the finances of the state,” Branstad says.
Branstad said he is not willing to take the nearly $20-million from another state agency and says the legislature should instead approve a separate spending bill.
Democrats say two-year spending bills are fiscally irresponsible when they have no idea how much revenue the state will have in 2013. Representative Tyler Olson, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, says Iowans priorities also shift from year to year.
“And as we’ve seen with natural disasters, economic fluctuations a lot is going to change between now and then,” Olson says.
Olson says he has no idea how the two sides are going to reach an agreement on a two-year budget. But Governor Branstad is more optimistic. He says when the sun comes out it’s time plant crops and resolve differences.