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Straight Talk by Representative Kent Sorenson

Sorenson's Straight Talk

Straight Talk by Representative Kent  Sorenson

January 25, 2010

Iowa government is facing its toughest year yet. As you will read below, the current financial outlook for Iowa is bleak. But in the midst of all these problems, I want you to know that House Republican leaders are asking questions designed to hold legislators accountable and keeping the upcoming budget process transparent for all Iowans to scrutinize.

Iowa’s Spending Gap Rises Perilously

During Governor Culver’s term, the gap between state spending and revenue has skyrocketed. In FY2009, the spending gap was $400 million, which increased to $800 million in FY2010. However, fiscal services is now estimating a $1.1 billion spending gap for FY2011.

How Much Money Will Government Reorganization Save ?

Only a couple weeks ago, Democratic leaders of the State Government Reorganization Committee claimed that there were “scores of millions of dollars to be saved” through creating a new operating structure of state government. However, this week we learned that the current recommended changes yield only 1.7 million savings in  FY2010, 28.9 million in FY2011, and $66.7 million in FY 2012, which is far short of the earlier prediction of $200 million in savings.

Property Taxpayers Beware! Education Bill Watch

House File 2001, sponsored by key Democrats, allows Iowa school districts to shift up to $380 million in employee benefit costs from the general fund to property taxes. If passed, HF2001 could result in up to $380 million in additional property taxes for Iowans.

In Your Community

I want to hear your input on addressing Iowa’s issues. Our first 2010 legislative forum is on Saturday, January 30 from 9-10 am at the Norwalk Library, 1051 North Avenue. I look forward to seeing you there!

As I write this newsletter, I am struck by the enormity of the job that lies ahead, particularly with Governor Culver and Democrats in control of the legislature. I’ll need your help this year to make sure our voices are heard.


Rep. Kent Sorenson


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