Budget surplus grows as priorities suffer in Iowa

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds claps as she signs a sweeping tax cut package that cuts income and property taxes, eliminates the inheritance tax and realigns the state's mental health funding system, on Wednesday, June, 16, 2021, at YSS, in Ames, Iowa.  (Kelsey Kremer/Des Moines Register via AP)

Late final month Iowa’s state authorities closed the books on Fiscal 12 months 2023 which ended June 30. When the mud settled, the fiscal 12 months ended with a $1.83 billion funds.

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds and GOP lawmakers who run the Legislature have been desirous to take credit score.

“We’ve seen what the highly effective mixture of growth-oriented insurance policies and monetary restraint can create, and now it’s time for Iowans to straight obtain the advantages,” Gov. Kim Reynolds stated. “I look ahead to chopping taxes once more subsequent legislative session and returning this surplus again to the place it belongs — the individuals of Iowa.

“Some see a surplus as authorities not spending sufficient, however I view it as an over assortment from the hardworking women and men of Iowa,” Reynolds stated.

In actuality, the excess was created by decisions made by Republican Statehouse leaders. They determined to sock away tax {dollars}, underfund priorities and use surpluses to cowl funds holes created by tax cuts. The cuts primarily profit rich earners.

State regulation permits lawmakers to spend 99 % of revenues estimated in December earlier than the Legislature gavels in a brand new session. Throughout Fiscal 12 months 2023, Republicans spent 82 % of revenues, leading to a surplus. A piece of that cash goes into the Taxpayer Reduction Fund, which now holds greater than $2.7 billion in taxpayer funds.

Reynolds scoffs on the concept the state isn’t spending sufficient. However just some days after Reynolds proclaimed the excess, the state started the method of settling a lawsuit over the shortage of youngsters’s psychological well being providers in Iowa. The lawsuit prices that the state has failed to fulfill its obligations to Medicaid-eligible youngsters for many years.

Kids have been institutionalized regardless that they’re eligible to obtain providers of their communities or at dwelling. An absence of funding has led to an absence of wanted providers.

“There was a determined have to construct a statewide kids’s well being system with an efficient array of providers,” stated Catherine Johnson, govt director of Incapacity Rights Iowa, in accordance with the Related Press. “The criticism that we’ve filed alleges that these providers should not out there anyplace in Iowa. They simply don’t exist.”

So whereas Republican leaders have fun a surplus and vow to chop extra taxes, households with kids in want of psychological well being care are desperately searching for providers.

Constructing a big surplus whereas these issues and plenty of others exist is irresponsible. Iowans want a authorities that cares about their wants. Chopping their taxes isn’t sufficient.

[email protected]

Opinion content material represents the point of view of the writer or The Gazette editorial board. You may be a part of the dialog by submitting a letter to the editor or visitor column or by suggesting a subject for an editorial to [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *