Branstad’s new/old budget ideas

Governor Terry Branstad chose a campaign stop in Burnside, Iowa, as the place to unveil some budget reform ideas.  I’m sure the high schoolers to whom Branstad was speaking were keen on the subject. For those of you who’ve been around Iowa politics, you’ll notice these are ideas Branstad tried to implement during his 16-year tenure as governor.  UPDATE:  Here’s the Radio Iowa story, including quotes from an early afternoon interview with Branstad.

Read the campaign news release below:

(BURNSIDE, Iowa) – Gov. Terry Branstad today rolled out new policy that would end bad budget practices, replace yearly budgets with a biennial budget process, and develop and implement a five-year financial plan for state government.

“It is time to stop playing shell games with taxpayer dollars, stop erratic budget fixes and start talking honestly about the state’s finances,” said Gov. Branstad. “This proposal will end bad budget practices and again bring fiscal responsibility to the state.”

When Gov. Branstad left office in 1999, the state of Iowa had a record $900 million surplus. Most recently, the budget faced a projected shortfall of nearly $1 billion. Gov. Chet Culver then enacted a 10 percent across-the-board cut in state government, causing property tax increases and uncertainty among Iowa’s state departments.

“This method of budgeting will remove the incremental cost increases due to annual budgets, and will provide stability to entities dependent on state resources,” said Branstad. “Implementing a five-year financial plan will meet critical needs while avoiding budget cliffs for years into the future.

“Current practices focus on a year-to-year approach with little regard for impact upon future budgets, new burdens for taxpayers, or ability to meet critical needs.”

Gov. Branstad today outlined his proposal in a speech to students and faculty at Southeast Webster-Grand High School.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.