Download the spreadsheet for the Iowa General Fund (the state has a number of other “funds”, such as the Road Use Tax Fund that funds our entire Department of Transportation and road building program). The General Fund represents a large share, but not all, of the state’s budget.
The spreadsheet shows current year (FY15) anticipated expenditures for each budget category in the first column. The next three columns show the recommended amounts for each budget category for FY16 (which begins July 1 of this year) for the Governor, Senate and House, respectively. The last three columns show the projected growth (or reduction in the case of some House budget targets) for each budget category from FY15 to recommended FY16 levels.
Governor Branstad’s recommendations are a 4.9% increase over FY15. Senate Democrats would grow spending by 5.2% and House Republicans would limit that growth to only 2.6%. Currently, Senate Democrats and Governor Branstad are recommending budget levels that are relatively the same. House Republicans, however, find themselves with budget targets that are $166 million lower than the Governor and $182 million lower than Senate Democrats. The spending gap between the House and Senate/Governor is significant and will not be easily resolved. For this reason, it is reasonable to expect the 2015 Session to extend well beyond the first of May.
Also, this week the House Ways and Means Committee approved HF 556, a bill that many believe will help bring broadband to rural Iowa by creating a statewide and streamlined process for local approval of cell tower siting applications. New cellular-based technologies promise to bring fiber-like speeds to rural homes and businesses without actually having to build fiber to those locations and the key to deployment of these technologies is the building of more and more cell towers around Iowa. The bill now moves to the House Calendar where it can be considered by the entire body.
Efforts on Behalf of Community Bankers of Iowa:
- HSB 232, a bill to create small business investment opportunities through the creation of rural growth funds and a rural development tax credit, was considered by a House Ways and Means subcommittee this week. CBI was represented and our “Undecided” position on the bill was shared with the committee.
- The Iowa Economic Development Authority spoke strongly against the bill and the Department of Revenue expressed serious reservations.
- HSB 232 was not approved by the subcommittee, but was held for potential future consideration.