The newscasts tonight will need a lot more than a half hour to cover everything today. So many developments...
The Principal Financial Group is laying off 550 employees, 300 from the metro. It was just a few weeks ago that Senior. V.P. Mary O'Keefe was telling us repeatedly how healthy the company was, that was despite the fact Principal had requested up to $2 billion in the government and that the stock price is worth a small fraction of what it once was. Apparently, a lot has changed in a few weeks.
Gov Chet Culver is cutting $77 million (if you count money that was already approved by the state legislature for that new state office building) from state spending. Repubs must be licking their chops politically. They said last year until they were blue in the face that the dems were spending way too much money. Does this help State Auditor Dave Vaudt (who was among the loudest spending critics) as he decides whether to run for governor against Culver?
Here are the highlights from a release from the gov's office:
Freeze personnel vacancies and new temporary positions, unless approved by Department of Management (DOM), and reduce the amount of overtime.
SAVINGS: $12.6 million
Freeze out-of-state travel, unless approved by DOM, and reduce in-state travel.
SAVINGS: $1.5 million
Reduce equipment purchases, service contracts and office supplies.
SAVINGS: $5.0 million
Cuts in spending by the Regents Institutions, Judicial Branch, and Legislature.
SAVINGS: $8.9 million
Transfers made to General Fund since the last Revenue Estimating Conference meeting.
SAVINGS: $12.0 million
Request the legislature to de-appropriate funding for a new state office building.
SAVINGS: $37 million
TOTAL: $77.0 million
Plus, did you watch any of the arguments in the Iowa Supreme Court over the same sex marriage case? No decision's expected for months, at least. Will the dems at the statehouse decide to take this up beforehand? Or will they keep avoiding the issue and wait for the Court?