Iowa Policy Project Analyzes Senate Budget Bill

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As I have said so many times before, when it comes to thorough analysis on things fiscal in Iowa, no one comes close to the Iowa Policy Project and its partner Iowa Fiscal Partnership.  

So when the Iowa state senate began its sudden rush to push what appears to be a poorly thought out budget that seems to put Iowa on a glide path to emulate Kansas we were eager to see what IPP had to say on the budget.

Mike Owen, the Executive Director of IPP was blunt and on the money (pun intended) in his analysis. The thrust of Owen’s article is that not only is the budget bad, but so is the process the GOP used to pass their budget. The whole article is a must read, but here are some excerpts to give you an idea:

As early as today, a bill may be debated in the Iowa Senate to drastically slash revenue for public services — phased in at a cost of over $1 billion a year, or about one-seventh of the state’s General Fund.

The Senate bill, as does any legislation with a fiscal impact, comes with a “fiscal note.” This analysis by the Legislative Services Agency, using Department of Revenue data, was made available sometime late Tuesday. The legislation itself was introduced a week ago today, and passed out of subcommittee and full committee the following day.

The legislation is so complex that it took the state’s top fiscal analysts a week to put together their summary, which includes four pages of bullet points in addition to tables of data about various impacts. The nonpartisan analysis finds that the wealthiest individuals and most powerful corporations once again are the big winners.


Many have tried to educate the public about what is at stake for Iowa — including the Iowa Fiscal Partnership, which among other activities brought in experts from Kansas last year to show what has happened there with similar tax slashing. IFP also offered a reminder in October of what real tax reform could include, and later about both open government and the folly of Kansas’ course. Last week, we warned about the fiscal cliff ahead.


The process, however, has shielded from public view a clear understanding of how the specifics of this legislation would affect two principles central to good tax policy: (1) the purpose of raising adequate revenues for critical services, and (2) raising those revenues in a way that reflects ability to pay — basic fairness of taxation, where Iowa (like most states) has a system that shoves greater costs on low-income than high-income taxpayers.

Every Iowan should read Mike Owen’s short and on point analysis.

If there is a forum in your area today please attend and ask those on the radical right to justify this horrendous budget.

While you are at it, one question that should be asked of every radical right legislature is “How much money have you received from the NRA?”

One more question for the radical right – Do they understand that outlawing abortion in Iowa will not stop abortions? Do they not understand that women will seek abortions if they feel they need to, even to the point of seeking out the infamous “back alley” abortionists from the very bad old days that Republicans seem to believe were the “good old days.”

A list of this month’s forums is found here.


About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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