House Republicans are proposing a $7.32 billion state budget for next year.
“This budget has been put together in a mindful manner to make sure that we are living within our means, but also funding the priorities of Iowans,” says Representative Pat Grassley, a Republican from New Hartford who is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
Republican Governor Terry Branstad has drafted a slightly larger budget of more than $7.4 billion. Senate Democrats are proposing a spending level in between the targets set by Branstad and House Republicans.
State tax collections have not been as robust as previously predicted and Grassley says nearly all the new state tax revenue expected will be directed to K-12 public schools.
“Every budget should be very difficult as we’re spending the money of the taxpayers of Iowa,” Grassley says, “and I think we’ve done a good job of sticking to our commitments that we all made when we were all out campaigning and living within our means and that’s what this budget does.”
Grassley says House Republicans used the current year’s state budget as a starting point for their budget plan rather than using the budget documents Governor Branstad delivered to legislators on January 12.