State Auditor Mary Mosiman says the budget plan Governor Terry Branstad drew up for legislators has a $144 million “spending gap.” Mosiman says it’s because the plan outlines spending 144-million dollars more than the state is projected to collect in taxes.
“When you analyze the numbers the way we have, yes, it is in the red,” Mosiman says.
However, she says Branstad makes his budget plan balance by using part of the state surplus to cover on-going expenses. Mosiman outlined the details of her budget review for reporters this morning, noting the governor and legislators have promised to dramatically increase state spending on education in years to come, plus they’ve pledged to send cities and counties more state money to cover commercial property tax losses.
“It’s sustainable as long as we maintain fiscal discipline,” Mosiman says.
Mosiman’s analysis also suggests the governor’s budget is about $19 million short of what experts say will be needed to cover state Medicaid expenses. In total, Mosiman says the governor’s budget plan calls for spending almost $7.4 billion on state government operations, the second year the state budget has topped $7 billion.
AUDIO of Mosiman’s news conference, 25:00