by CBI Lobbyist
Overview / Major Events
The House and Senate this week took the final step in implementing the agreement that resolves a number of key tax concerns regarding coupling with federal tax changes (signed by the Governor this week) along with setting the amount of new money for our K-12 schools in FY17 (beginning July 1, 2016).
WHAT GOT DONE?
With the “must-do” tax policy and education spending issues resolved for this session, the General Assembly will now turn to work on the remainder of the state budget (including the first necessary step of setting joint House and Senate budget targets for each budget area). See below for a primer on the budget process moving forward.
A Quick Look at the Legislative Budget Process
The Iowa Constitution requires that any spending done by state government must first be approved by the General Assembly and then signed by the Governor (with or without the exercise of line-item vetoes). At the General Assembly level, the budget work is first developed through the work of seven appropriations subcommittees in each Chamber. The committees initially meet jointly (meaning Senate and House members on their respective subcommittees meet and work together) and review the budget areas for which they have responsibility.
Here are those subcommittees and the general areas for which they develop budgets:
ADMINISTRATION AND REGULATION (Rep. Landon; Sen. Brase)
This subcommittee is responsible for the budgets of most administrative agencies and departments in state government. This would include areas such as the Department of Revenue, the Department of Administrative Services, the Department of Management, and the Governor’s Office.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES (Rep. Mommsen; Sen. Wilhelm)
This subcommittee is primarily responsible for the budgets of the Department of Natural Resources and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Rep. Deyoe; Sen. Dotzler)
The Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Workforce Development would be the two primary agencies in this budget area (but also includes a number of smaller agencies, as well).
EDUCATION (Rep. Dolecheck; Sen. Schoenjahn)
Iowa, Iowa State, and UNI all receive the state funded portions of their budget from the work of this subcommittee. Also included here are state appropriations for our community colleges and the Department of Education. (Note: not included in this budget is K-12 state aid. That is handled in separate legislation, as noted above.)
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (Rep. Heaton; Sen. Ragan)
This is one of the largest budget areas in state government. The work of this subcommittee encompasses the Department of Human Services (including Medicaid), the Department of Aging, and other related state agencies.
JUSTICE SYSTEM (Rep. Wortham; Sen. Courtney)
This subcommittee produces two separate budget documents. One budget is primarily focused on funding for our state court system. The other is focused on the Department of Corrections, Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management, and the Parole Board (and a few other related agencies).
TRANSPORTATION, CAPITALS, AND INFRASTRUCTURE (Rep. Huseman; Sen. McCoy)
This subcommittee also produces two budget documents. First, they are responsible for development of the budget for the Department of Transportation. Second, they also develop the budget for the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund.
After subcommittee work, budgets are reviewed and approved by the respective full Appropriations Committees (Rep. Grassley; Sen. Dvorsky) in the House and Senate before moving to floors for action by the larger bodies. The final step in the process is consideration by the Governor. And, the Iowa Constitution grants the Governor the authority to line-item veto sections of budget bills, without having to veto the entire budget bill (though, he has the authority to veto the entire bill, as well).
Efforts on Behalf of Community Bankers of Iowa: