When I started my first term in the Iowa Senate, one of the first things we had to do was pass a deappropriations bill because the state didn’t have enough money to fulfill the promises it had made the previous year. We were short millions of dollars and had to pass a series of budget cuts.
We would spend the next four years working on budgets that were conservative and sustainable. The goal was to rein in spending that had continued to grow and grow over the years, while spending money on priority areas and being able to provide tax relief to Iowans. Year after year I supported budgets that funded public safety, health care, and increases to K-12 education. The point in passing a conservative and sustainable budget was to both fund these important state government functions, but also ensure we had enough money set aside if it was ever needed.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused devastation all around the country. Recently, the Council of State Governments released a report on the fiscal situations in each state across the country and the resiliency of the budgets in each of those states. After years of conservative and responsible budgeting, Iowa was rated as one of the most fiscally sound and resilient states in the country when it comes to enduring and recovering from the devastation COVID-19 has caused.
We have gone from hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to having a budget surplus that can endure the uncertainty of a pandemic. This is exactly why conservative spending and responsible budgets are important, and I’m proud to support sustainable budgets at the Capitol.