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It has been some time since we have reported on budgets, since not much has happened since mid-February.  Here is a quick refresher on where we are at now.

  • In January, the Governor presented a budget that spent $7.412 billion.
  • In early February, the Senate released its plan to spend $7.409 billion.
  • In late February, the House announced it would only spend $7.320 billion.
  • In mid-March, new revenue estimates showed the state can only legally spend $7.351 billlion.
  • Now, legislative leaders are working together to come up with a new joint target.

As you can see, the Governor and Senate used earlier estimates to set their budgets, so they must drop their levels to stay within Iowa's 99% budget law (we can only spend 99% of the money our state takes in during the year).  The Governor announced his revised budget on March 31.  Legislators continue to work on a joint budget, and have $176.7 million in new money to spend.  However, you will recall that above we mentioned the Legislature has decided to increase school funding by 2.25%.  The pricetag for that was $153.8 million.  So legislators really have only $22.9 million left to allocate among all the budgets.  That's why it's taking a little more time to come to agreement this year.