Friday, March 20, 2009

Culver Comments on Lowered Revenue Expectations

Statehouse Democrats have said already they were pushing to cut more than Governor Culver proposed in his budget for the coming year. It looks now like they will have no choice. The Revenue Estimating Conference has lowered expectations again on how much money the state is bringing in these days.

I have attached Governor Culver's release on the new numbers. I highlighted one line in particular I found a bit interesting. It says:
"My Administration has stayed ahead of the changing economic conditions by taking effective steps to ensure a balanced budget and maintain strong fiscal management. "
If his office has indeed "stayed ahead of the changing economic conditions", then that should mean the governor will not have to make more cuts because of the new projections, right?

Here is the full release:


DES MOINES – Following today’s revised projections from the Revenue Estimating Conference, Governor Chet Culver issued the following statement on next steps to maintain a balanced budget for the current fiscal year and approve a balanced budget for fiscal year 2010. The REC estimated that net General Fund revenues would be $129.7 million less in FY2009 and $269.9 million less in FY2010 than the Governor’s budgets.

Governor Culver’s Statement

Given the dramatic impact of the national recession on our economy, it is no surprise that the Revenue Estimating Conference has lowered state revenue projections. Clearly the national economic downturn continues to be severe. But I am confident that Iowans will work our way out of this recession. That’s what we do when faced with challenges.

In fact, Iowa is better positioned than nearly every state in the nation to work our way out of this recession and come out stronger than before. Iowa is one of only eleven states with a AAA bond rating; after recently funding disaster relief, we still have cash reserves of $564 million; and our unemployment rate is more than three percentage points below the national average.

On top of that, we are offering Iowans hope with our efforts to create and retain jobs and strengthen the economy. First, Iowa is quickly putting President Obama’s economic recovery plan to work, already investing more than $100 million in transportation projects. Second, we are stimulating the economy with hundreds of millions of dollars being spent to rebuild communities hit hard by last summer’s natural disasters. And third, the legislature and I are working to create I-JOBS in order to make use of Iowa’s financial strengths by investing in infrastructure and supporting jobs throughout the state.

My Administration has stayed ahead of the changing economic conditions by taking effective steps to ensure a balanced budget and maintain strong fiscal management. For example, I ordered across-the-board cuts of $89.1 million, directed state agencies to reduce expenses, and last week signed legislation making $30.3 million in additional cuts which I recommended for this year. The legislature has been a key partner throughout this process.

With today’s new projections, Iowa law requires me to release my revised budget recommendations for FY 2009 and FY 2010 within two weeks. Starting next week, I will discuss recommendations with legislative leaders so we can move forward quickly to reach agreement on balanced budgets in light of these new revenue projections.

One important recommendation I will propose is making use of funds authorized by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. I believe funds from the federal economic recovery plan can maintain our priorities in key areas, such as education and health care, and should help us maintain services to Iowans by avoiding layoffs of public employees.

While important decisions have to be made, I am optimistic that we will come together and develop solutions to meet these economic challenges. From balancing the budget to investing in new jobs, we will do what’s necessary to provide a better, brighter future for all Iowans.


Anonymous said...

The Gov.better recognise the work the dedicated State employees do and find ways to raise the States revenue rather than cut cut cut...the state workers morale is so low that pretty soon no one will want to even admit where they work. The people of this State also need to be proud of the Judicial system we have and should be allowed to have access to it. We have one of the best in the country...will it continue? Treat these people like they deserve to be treated ...the judges are VERY underpaid already!

Anonymous said...

this maybe but raising taxes is not the answer. we are already the second worst state for attracting business do we raise taxes and try to become number 1.