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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 22, 2017

Latest fallout from bad budgeting

By Rich Taylor | Jun 30, 2017

Bad budgeting continues to hurt Iowans. At the end of June, we will close the books on Fiscal Year 2017, which saw Iowa’s $928 million surplus plummet to a deficit of more than $130 million.

Departments are now implementing cuts to make ends meet. Last week, we learned that the Iowa Department of Public Health is cutting essential health care services that will hurt Iowa families and increase future health care costs. For example, Iowa children will be denied hearing aids and vision screening, making it much harder for them to succeed in school and in life.

We’re also learning the truth behind the delay in Iowans’ state income tax refunds. The Branstad/Reynolds Administration told Iowans earlier this year that officials were taking extra steps to prevent income tax fraud. However, a Des Moines Register investigation revealed that the state didn’t have enough money to refund Iowans’ hard-earned money in a timely way.

While Iowa families are shouldering the burden, tax breaks for big corporations make up a growing part of our state budget—now topping $500 million annually.

Economic prosperity and fiscal responsibility will return when Governor Reynolds makes good on her promises to increase family incomes by 25 percent and to create more than 200,000 new jobs; and when legislators focus on strengthening our schools, building the skilled workforce that Iowa employers need, and improving quality of life for all Iowans.

We must change course and make working families a priority again by:

• Investing in K-12 schools and preventing more school closures

• Keeping down the cost of college and job training

• Making health care accessible to all Iowans

• Paying fair, living wages to all workers

• Re-examining tax breaks for big corporations

 

– Sen. Rich Taylor represents Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties.

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