Uncertainty remains about the farm economy and the state’s future budget situation, causing the Governor Terry Branstad to think over his options.
Branstad ordered state worker furloughs and across-the-board cuts in the state budget during the depths of the Farm Crisis. “But I’ve learned that’s not the way to do things,” Branstad says.
So, if Iowa’s economy craters and the state budget plan is headed toward red ink this fall or next winter, Branstad will call lawmakers back to Des Moines for a special legislative session.
“If we really run into financial problems, I’m going to bring the legislature back to address it,” Branstad says, slapping his hands together, “because if they create the problem, they’re going to have to address it.”
Branstad says this is a “tough year, financially” for the state, as tax collections have failed to meet expectations.
“This is a challenging time,” Branstad says. “The stock market started out the year the worst, I guess in history — the first month — and then we have the farm situation and the fact that commodity prices are below the price of production. Hog prices are bad as well as corn and soybeans. There’s reason to be concerned.”
And Branstad points to last week’s announcement that ADM may try to sell its ethanol plant in Cedar Rapids because of weak profits.
Branstad made his comments late last week during an interview with Radio Iowa.