The cuts for the state universities. community colleges and courts are deeper than Republican Governor Kim Reynolds recommended earlier this month.
Republicans in the Iowa House have not yet revealed their plan.
Senator Charles Schneider, a Republican from West Des Moines, said with state tax collections lagging below expectations, the cuts are necessary to avoid a deficit.
“According to Iowa law, we have to balance our budget and this requires us to make some adjustments to our budget…for the current fiscal year,” Schneider said during a Senate Appropriations Committee meeting Thursday afternoon. “Our goal has been to do so in a way that’s fiscally responsible and that reflects the values that we, as Iowans, all hold most dear.”
The Senate GOP plan does not cut state payments to K-12 public schools, but it would force the three state universities to make what the executive director of the Regents system calls “severe” and disruptive cuts during the current semester.
Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat, represents Iowa City, which is home to the University of Iowa.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that with $19.2 million of proposed cuts to the public universities (and) another $5.4 million in cuts to our fine community colleges that tuition for every college kid and family is going to go up next year,” Bolkcom said.
The Senate GOP plan also calls for $3.4 million in cuts to the budgets at state prisons and $4.8 million cut to the state’s court system. A spokesman for the state judicial branch says a cut of that magnitude will lead to the closure of 30 county courthouses and the closures will be “indefinite.” Criminal and civil cases in those counties would be shifted to other courts.