Senate Democrats announced budget targets

April 16, 2015

On Tuesday, Senate Democrats announced their budget targets for fiscal year 2016. The $7.341 billion budget is the same top-line amount as Gov. Terry Branstad’s announced budget, but they have differences in allocations. House Republicans believe the dollar amount is higher than ongoing revenue and have not released their targets. As an aside, the Republicans and Democrats have come out with joint budget targets the last few years. The fact Senate Democrats and House Republicans are not on the same page with a dollar figure does not bode well for an on-time adjournment. The last time a budget showdown and school funding debate had this feel, the Legislature adjourned on June 30, 2011 - the last day of the fiscal year. 

Some notable differences between the Governor’s budget and Senate Democrats’ proposal include funding for K-12 public schools and an early retirement plan for eligible state officials. Sen. Bob Dvorsky (D-Coralville), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told the Quad City Times. “Our balanced budget is sustainable and spends less than the state takes in.” House Appropriations Chairmain Chuck Soderberg (R - Le Mars) said responded in a press release: “The targets released today by the Senate Democrats spend more than the hardworking taxpayers of Iowa are paying, and we’re committed to balancing ongoing spending with ongoing revenue. The state has $7.175 billion in ongoing revenue and we will not spend more than that."

Read more:
Press Release: 
House Republicans respond to Democrats' budget targets
Quad City Times: Senate Democrats seek same spending level as Branstad