Report, 5/27/11

Iowa House of Representatives
State Representative

Lee Hein

   Address: State Capitol, Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone: (515) 281-7330
E-Mail: lee.hein@legis.state.ia.us
Website: http://www.iowahouserepublicans.com/members/lee-hein
http://www.iowahouserepublicans.com
follow on Twitter @iahouserepubs

   Recap of Week ENDING MAY 27TH

As another week comes to an end, we find ourselves almost four weeks beyond the traditional end to the session and still without adjournment. You may be asking why we have not finished. It would be easy to blame the lack of a budget agreement on differences in line items or policy provisions, but it would be misleading. What is unique about this session are the problems we face and our resolve to keep the promises we made to Iowans. Iowa’s economy is hurting and the recovery has been slow. Too many Iowans are out of work and are tired of watching an out-of-touch state government operate outside of the realities they face. With this in mind, House Republicans committed to an important set of principles:

Put Iowans back to work
Cut government spending
Make it easier to be an employer in the state of Iowa
Reduce the size and scope of government
We will not spend more than we take in

At the start of the 2011 session, Republicans indicated that fiscal responsibility and economic certainty are keys to putting Iowa back on track and creating jobs. With that in mind, we approved legislation that provided broad-based tax relief. We toured the state to identify regulatory red tape that’s making it hard to create jobs. Our first bill contained multiple reforms to shrink government and save taxpayers over $500 million. These efforts have been largely rejected by Democrats.

We have committed to passing a budget that’s both honest and sustainable. While it wasn’t going to be easy, it’s what Iowans expect. We started with a nearly $1 billion hole to fill because previous budgets had underfunded commitments and used one-time money to pay for ongoing expenses.

When Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate released budgets in February, $147 million separated us. Negotiations began at that point.

After an entire session of joint budget meetings, we drilled down into the line items and worked to identify and resolve differences in each budget area. We found agreement with the Governor and made an honest offer to close the $147 million difference with the Senate by moving $100 million towards their position. Unfortunately, they have already moved the opposite direction by spending an additional $100 million.

The budget disagreement boils down to this: Democrats want to spend more money. In fact, the longer they are here the more they want to spend. Their own budgets blow past the targets they set for themselves. They want to continue the status quo and they appear ready to threaten a government shutdown to do so.

This is unnecessary and unproductive. We have plenty of time to do the job Iowans sent us here to do and reach an agreement that keeps your priorities in mind. We need to remain firm in the message of fiscal stability and responsibility. We need to keep the focus on growing our economy and creating opportunity. With Iowans in our corner, we will continue to stand by our principles and we will get this done.

As always, you can contact me at lee.hein@legis.state.ia.us or (515) 281-7330. I do check my email and get voice messages sent to my home computer.

Sincerely, Lee Hein

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