A panel of financial experts sees “turbulence” in Iowa’s economy and has slightly reduced its prediction of how much tax revenue the state will collect.
State Representative Pat Grassley, a Republican, is the chairman of the Appropriations Committee in the Iowa House and he says it means legislators will face tougher choices when crafting next year’s state budget.
“We’re going to have to find savings somewhere in the budget,” Grassley says, “…finding out where may be there would be waste or a need to not have a board or a program.”
The Revenue Estimating Conference met Thursday and predicted state tax revenue will grow in the current budgeting year that ends June 30, with over $7 billion in total tax collections, but the group but trimmed its guess of that growth by about $9 million. The panel’s estimate for the next budgeting year was reduced by $21.5 million. Grassley says that throws a bit of a wrench in budget plans.
“The budget process should be very difficult,” Grassley says. “We shouldn’t come down here and hammer it out in a day and it’s done because then, obviously, we didn’t put the work in so it’s going to obviously be very difficult, but I think every budget picture is, especially when you have split control of the legislature as it is in the house and the senate.”
Republicans control the debate agenda in the House and Democrats control the Iowa Senate. Grassley says House Republicans will meet next week to discuss priorities for the 2016 session. One point of discussion will be how much to send Iowa’s public schools for the academic year that begins next fall.
The 32 year old Grassley, who is the grandson of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, has been a member of the Iowa House of Representatives since 2007. This fall he became chairman of the committee that drafts a state budget plan.