Report 5/5/2011

Iowa House of Representatives
State Representative

Lee Hein
Address: State Capitol, Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone: (515) 281-3221
E-Mail: lee.hein@legis.state.ia.us
Website: http://www.iowahouserepublicans.com/members/lee-hein
IOWA … House Republican Newsletter
NEWS FROM DISTRICT 31
It was a short but very busy week. This is the first week I did not have the help of my clerk Kevin Kuhle. The official end of the session was April 29th, the clerks and most of the pages were finished up their work. Things were not the same around the Capital.
We passed Senate File 531 the Bio-fuels bill Wednesday morning which will help Iowa remain competitive in the Bio-fuels industry.
On Tuesday, May 3, the House and Senate Republicans and Governor Branstad agreed to the total amount of general fund spending for FY 2012. The general fund budget will be just less than $6 billion. This amount is 97 percent of ongoing revenue and over $200 million less than the adjusted FY 2011 budget. It leaves over $300 million in the ending balance and brings the budget back to FY 2009.
The next step is getting the Senate Democrats to agree on the spending level. Once that is accomplished, the appropriations bills can be approved by both chambers and sent to the Governor.
As always, you can contact me at lee.hein@legis.state.ia.us or (515) 281-7330. You can read any of my newsletters at http://www.iowahouserepublicans.com/members/lee-hein. Also, if you are ever in Des Moines make sure you stop by the Capitol to visit.
Sincerely, Lee Hein
Century & Heritage Farm Owners Deadline
On Friday, April 29, 2011, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) issued a press release in which Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey reminded eligible farm owners that June 1, 2011 is the deadline to apply for the 2011 Century and Heritage Farm Program. The program recognizes families that have owned their farm for 100 years in case of Century Farms and 150 years for Heritage Farms.
Farm families interested in participating in the Century or Heritage Farms Program must have their applications postmarked no later than June 1, 2011. Applications are available on the Department’s website at http://www.IowaAgriculture.gov by clicking on the Century Farm or Heritage Farm link under “Hot Topics.”
Applications may also be requested from Linda Rosky, Coordinator of the Century and Heritage Farm Program via phone at 515-281-3645, email at Linda.Rosky@IowaAgriculture.gov, or by writing to Century or Heritage Farms Program, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Henry A. Wallace Building, 502 E. 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50319.
Revenue Below REC Estimate, Aberration or Warning Sign?
On Monday, May 2, the Legislative Services Agency (LSA) released the revenue numbers through the end of April. After exceeding the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) estimate for most of the past year, actual revenue in April was down considerably compared to the most recent REC estimate.
Net general fund revenue through April increased by $175.9 million, or 4 percent above actual FY 2010, however this month was $41.5 million below the previous April. LSA noted in its memo that some of the decrease is due to timing issues regarding the Unclaimed Property Fund and fee revenue.
The bad news is that corporate income tax receipts are down and income tax refunds are up. Sales and use tax receipts were also slightly below the estimate. With April coming in negative, actual year-to-date revenue is up 4 percent, which is below the REC estimate of 5 percent.
Personal income tax receipts were up 6.2 percent year- to-date, which is right at the REC estimate. The inheritance tax, insurance premium tax and tobacco tax receipts were all above the estimate.
While it is too early to panic, there is concern that high gas prices are starting to impact the economy. In addition, the slow planting season could mean a reduced supply and lower productivity in the agriculture sector. There is no doubt that the strong ag economy in 2010 helped deliver revenue increases.
House Republicans believe these numbers prove that caution is needed and why only the most conservative budget increases should be approved for the FY 2012 and FY 2013 budgets.

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