By law, Iowa’s budget is required to balance. Governor Culver, who has been adamant that everything is just fine, doesn’t have enough money to shuffle around to balance the state’s fiscal year 2009 budget. This scenario has led State Representative Chris Rants to call for a special session to address the issue. Rants is also a candidate for governor.
Culver’s budget is short $161 million, yet he only has $118 million at his disposal to move around to cover his budget shortfall. Culver can use $44.5 million from the ending balance, $50 million from the economic emergency fund, and $23.5 million in money set aside for Medicaid. All told, Culver is $43 million short, and will likely need the legislature to reconvene to solve this problem.
GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Rants has already called for a special session to deal with the budget. Below is the from the press release he just sent out.
“Governor Culver has allowed the budget mess to become far too problematic for him to handle on his own – we have gone from having a projected deficit to an actual deficit. He needs to call the Legislature back for a special session to balance the budget. He then needs to ask the Legislature to reduce the budget for the coming year by an equal amount.
Everyone in the state has seen this day coming, except for Governor Culver. Taxpayers and local governments cannot afford a ‘wait and see’ approach any longer. Action is needed now.
It is time to quit worrying about the political ramifications of admitting that we have a deficit and get about the business of fixing it. Governor Vilsack put aside partisan politics and called a special session in 2001 and 2002 to balance the budget after revenues declined; Culver needs to do the same.”
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