This is the final week of the current state budget year and Governor Kim Reynolds says she’s keeping an eye on the bottom line, knowing there is going to be a budget shortfall brought on by lower than expected state revenues.
“We’re continuing to monitor it every day. It fluctuates daily as we monitor not only revenues, but expenditures going out,” Reynolds says. “We won’t be making a final decision until September 30th when the accrual period ends. We will have to wait up until that time until we know what strategy we will have to use.”
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources director had indicated the budget shortage might force the department to close some state Parks. Reynolds was asked today during here weekly meeting with reporters if those heading out for the Fourth of July would see any closed signs at state parks.
“Nope, nope, they are going to be open and we encourage families across the state to get out and enjoy the wonderful state parks that we have right here in the state of Iowa,” Reynolds says. “No, because I had indicated because it was so late in the session that it was not practical for use to expect the various agencies to enact any more cuts.” Reynolds says she is still planning to borrow 50 million dollars from the state emergency fund to cover the budget deficit unless there is a dramatic change in the bottom line through this week. She reiterated what she has said previously about the new fiscal year.
“People are going to wake up on July 1st and they’re not going to notice any difference from June 30th to July first. We were able to make the appropriate education appropriations, the final payment. We were able to take care of the Medicaid payment. And so, they will see no change from June 30th to July first,” according to Reynolds. She says they state is and lawmakers are still planning to pay back the money they borrow to cover the deficit in the next two fiscal years. Reynolds says that should not be a problem.
“You have to remember though still, we are still seeing growth. It is not as robust as we had hoped for. We still have a significant amount of reserves in our economic cash emergency fund and our cash reserve fund,” Reynolds says. “Much of that happens throughout the budgeting process. So, that’s the goal of the legislature as well as this office to get that done.”