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The Revenue Estimating Conference met on Friday, October 15. You may recall that the REC meets periodically to estimate the revenue that the state of Iowa will receive in the current fiscal year, that ends next June 30, and the next fiscal year that begins next July 1.

They will meet again in December and March. By law, we cannot appropriate more money than 99% of the estimate plus any surplus money left over from the prior year for our state budget. However, we must use the lower of the December or March estimate. In recent years we have not appropriated up to the legal limit. It is very difficult to predict revenue that precisely. We have given ourselves a little bigger cushion than the 99% limit would allow.

The new REC estimate for the current fiscal year (2022) is $8,934.2 million, an increase of $133.6 million over the fiscal year 2021 number. The new estimate for fiscal 2023, that begins July 1, 2022, is $9,074.7 million. This is an increase of $140.5 million over the fiscal 2022 number. This is all very good news.

Since I serve on the Appropriations committee, I will have a voice in developing our budget for the upcoming fiscal year as I have in previous years. I am confident that we will continue our conservative budgeting policies that have resulted in surpluses over the last 5 fiscal years. You may have read or heard that we had a $1.2 billion surplus for the just concluded fiscal year. We do not expect that kind of surplus in the coming year, but as I report above, we do expect a surplus. It is too bad that the federal government does not follow the policies that have been so successful here in Iowa.

Second Redistricting Proposal

The LSA will give us their second redistricting proposal on October 21. We will have another special session on October 28 to vote on the proposal. You may recall that we must vote yes or no on this proposal. It cannot be amended. If we do not accept this proposal, LSA will give us a third proposal. It can be amended.

Court Allows Enforcement of Texas Abortion Law

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a temporary order allowing enforcement of the Texas abortion law while the case is considered by the federal courts. A district court judge had issued an order stopping enforcement of the law pending consideration of the case. Biden’s Justice Department, the plaintiff in the case, will now be able to appeal the temporary order to the U. S. Supreme Court. The U. S. Supreme Court has already declined once to stop enforcement of the law during the consideration of the case. The Court rulings in this case, especially the U. S. Supreme Court rulings, obviously can affect other states, including Iowa.

Author: Julian Garrett