Senator Jerry Behn: Budget Bills Reveal Fundamental Differences

The 2014 Legislative session is drawing to a close. The state budget continues to consume the bulk of our time. How the state spends its money always has been a point of contention between Republicans and Democrats. This often results in the budget bills being negotiated in conference committee because the parties have fundamental differences on how state money should be allocated. We believe state money belongs to the Iowa taxpayer. Therefore, it should be spent thoughtfully and any excess amount of revenue should be returned to them.

On the contrary, some would prefer to spend any excess money to grow the footprint of government. This is not only irresponsible, it is unsustainable.  We work diligently to put forth budgetary practices which help create a legacy of opportunity for our children and grandchildren.

Senate Democrats and House Republicans reached joint budget targets several weeks ago, but in many cases the line items differ significantly. Senate Republicans have stressed it is important for government to explore efficiencies and shrink the scope of government.

We will continue to push for a budget that spends less than we take in on an ongoing basis, doesn’t purposefully underfund programs to balance the budget, doesn’t spend one-time money for ongoing programs and returns money to Iowa taxpayers.

We will continue to advocate for sound budgetary practices and the fiscal management Iowans expect from their legislators.