Dems: Fiscal responsibility is paying off

July 19, 2016

The State of Iowa remains in good financial shape, according to independent analysis by the Iowa State Auditor and others.


Money has been tight, but by sticking to sound budgeting principles, we closed out Fiscal Year 2016 with a surplus of about $80 million. We’re also prepared for a rainy day, with more than $700 million in our reserve funds—the largest amount in state history.


By law, we never spend more than 99 percent of what the state takes in. We also consider expert projections on the future of our economy when setting the state budget. This careful approach has earned Iowa the best-possible credit rating. It also gets us good reviews from State Auditor Mary Mosiman, who called this year’s budget “stable and responsible.”


Even with limited resources, Senate Democrats continue to fight for economic security for Iowa families by standing up for workers and investing in skills training, job creation and educational opportunities from preschool through college. But a split Legislature—with Democrats controlling the Senate and Republicans in charge of the House—requires bipartisan compromise.


While the 2016 session made progress on a number of fronts, there were disappointments. We didn’t get to do all we wanted for schools, for sick and disabled Iowans, for crime victims, or for other efforts to strengthen and expand Iowa’s middle class.


In this new fiscal year, which began on July 1, we’ll look for opportunities to build on our successes. We are in a good position to do just that.


“Sound, consistent budgeting principles will help prepare us for whatever the future brings by putting State government in a better position to react to economic uncertainties,” said Auditor Mosiman. “Long-term planning can provide a roadmap to help honor current and future commitments while navigating any changes.”


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