Democrats say they’re concerned Republican legislators are giving Republican Governor Kim Reynolds too much leeway on state budget matters. Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee have advanced what they’re calling a “status quo” spending plan for the next state fiscal year.
Representative Chris Hall of Sioux City is the top-ranking Democrat on the committee.
“In 16 pages, the legislature is entirely abdicating its responsibility to make a budget,” Hall said this morning, “and it allowing for the governor’s office and the executive branch to have an unheard of amount of authority, whether we are in emergency times or not.”
Hall said legislators are “punting” the tough spending decisions to the governor.
“We are entirely trusting the governor and Department of Management to make these decisions without any fall back or check should the legislature disagree with those funding decisions,” Hall said.
Representative Gary Mohr, a Republican from Bettendorf, said the plan does not abdicate the legislature’s responsibility.
“In a dire financial situation of what we’re been through the last six months, we feel it makes total sense to just pass a status quo budget, so we feel we’re on solid footing of we’re making the decisions,” Mohr said. “We’re deciding where the money’s coming from and we’re deciding where it’s going.”
Mohr is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.