This week I’m going to talk about the appropriations process. As chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee I am responsible for working with the governor and the House to come to an agreement on the size of the state’s budget. The state’s budget year runs from July 1 to June 30.
There are seven appropriations subcommittees. These subcommittees meet twice a week for 90 minutes. Throughout the session various state department heads deliver presentations before these subcommittees and propose their funding requests for the upcoming budget year. By the end of the session we must establish budget line items and do our best to meet the needs of Iowans within the overall budget.
The legislature is required to set Supplemental State Aid (SSA) for schools within 30 days of the governor’s Condition of the State Address. I am working with the House to come to agreement on a number by that deadline.
We also have a supplemental appropriations bill. This bill adjusts the budget we passed last year to reflect changes that need to be made. Because negotiations for Medicaid reimbursement were still ongoing when we set last year’s budget, we will need to amend our budget to reflect what the final negotiated amount will be. There will also be other smaller changes to the budget we need to address.
The state budget agreed upon last year was $7,643,793,860. It is very important to be diligent and to safeguard taxpayer dollars. The decisions we make have a huge impact.
Please feel free to email or contact me about questions or concerns you may have.