Just minutes after Governor Kim Reynolds wrapped up her Condition of the State address, a speech full of optimism and new plans for Iowa government, the Legislative Services Agency released their initial analysis of Reynolds’ budget proposal. Included in it is the governor’s $29.6 million in cuts for Fiscal Year 2018 to help cover the ongoing budget shortfall.

The proposed cuts are as follows:

$10 million cut from Department of Human Services for Medical Assistance

$3.3 million cut from Department of Human Services in general

$5.1 million cut from the Board of Regents

$3.4 million cut from the Department of Corrections

$1.8 million cut from community colleges

$1.6 million cut from the judicial branch

$850,000 cut from the Department of Public Safety

$580,000 cut from the Department of Education.

All of the cuts are around 1% of each department or program’s overall budget, with a couple exceptions. The Department of Human Rights got a 1.8% cut, compared to the 0.9% that most others received. And the College Student Aid Commission got 21.9% of its budget slashed with a reduction of $94,172 for FY 2018.

Obviously, with the continued mismanagement surrounding the Iowa budget, cuts were going to have to be made. The beginning of this year’s session is expected to be much like last year, dealing with a large de-appropriations bill. The final result that the Legislature passes may differ some from what Reynolds has proposed.

But Reynolds’ budget cut recommendations stand at stark odds with the speech she gave just earlier in the day. It is difficult to reconcile promoting the importance of Iowa’s community colleges in providing two-year degrees while also proposing to cut $1.8 million from them at the start of session. Improving Iowa’s healthcare access or fighting opioid addictions won’t be furthered by slashing $10 million from DHS’ medical assistance budget. She did at least omit school aid funding from her long list of budget cuts.

You can look at the entire document here. Starting Line will have more analysis of Reynolds’ budget recommendations later today.

 

by Pat Rynard
Posted 1/9/18

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