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Jodi Tymeson January 28 Update

January 28, 2010


Governor’s Budget Released

     Governor Culver’s budget starts with $5.32 billion in general fund appropriations, and then he proposes to use $387 million of one-time money to increase the spending to $5.707 billion. This one-time money will come from the cash reserve fund ($207.5 million), federal stimulus money for Medicaid ($94.2 million), federal stimulus money for education and general purposes ($48 million), and Senior Living Trust Fund for Medicaid ($37.7 million). This expenditure will empty the Senior Living Trust Fund. Using one-time money for ongoing expenses is not a good way to budget. The Governor includes $341 million in his budget from so-called reorganization savings. However, the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency only predicts $29 million in savings for 2011 from the proposed legislation. 

     You can read the budget document at:

     You can read the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency analysis of the Governor’s budget recommendation at:

     You can read the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency analysis of the government reorganization savings at: and click on Government Reorganization and Efficiency Bill.


 Your Property Taxes will Increase

     Your property taxes will increase soon, but don’t rush to blame your city, county, or school board. Decisions being made in the state legislature and by the Governor will cause automatic increases in property taxes. When unfunded mandates are shifted to cities and counties, or when state aid to schools is underfunded by the state, the school spending authority allows the difference to be filled with property taxes. The Governor’s budget proposal underfunds state aid to schools by $170 million. His proposal to shift $50 million from the Road Use Tax Fund will also cause property taxes at the local level. In addition, the government-run preschool program (promised to be paid with state dollars) will now cause property taxes to increase.


Debating after Midnight

     We tried to amend the Iowa House Rules to say “Voting in the House shall not occur between midnight and 8 a.m. on any legislative day except for voting on a motion to adjourn.” The Democrat majority voted it down. I guess we will continue to do business at the Capitol when Iowans are asleep.


How to Contact Me

     I can be reached by telephone at the Capitol 515-281-3221, directly to my desk in the House Chamber 515-281-7615, or at home 515-462-5081. Please send mail to my home at 1524 Highway 169, Winterset, IA 50273, or the State Capitol Building, Des Moines, IA 50319.  I appreciate hearing from you.