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April 25th, 2009

Sorry Kid… House Passes $535 million Borrowing Plan

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Written by: Craig Robinson

little-kidAfter a long and lengthy debate on the Iowa House passed SF 376, which allows the state to borrow $535 million. This is one part of Governor Culver’s bonding proposal. The bill passed at 1:52 a.m. by a vote of 53 to 43, 4 members were absent.

Throughout the debate, Republicans repeatedly stated that they did not object to spending state dollars on flood recovery items. At one point in the debate, Rep. Tyler Olson admitted that the portion of the bonding proposal that will be used for flood relief equaled around $245 million.

Republicans said that instead of borrowing money and paying bond payments from gambling revenues to the tune of $50 million a year, that they could instead implement a five year pay-as-you-go program so the state would not have to borrow money. One Republican even said the he favored using the cash reserves instead of borrowing money and paying it back over 20 years. Those suggestions went no where.

Earlier in the night, republicans filed a letter of dissent for violating the constitution, which every Republican signed. Article seven of the constitution limits the state’s debt to $250,000.

Mr. Speaker:

Article III Section 10 of the Constitution of the State of Iowa provides:

Protest – record of vote – Every member of the general assembly shall have the liberty to dissent from, or protest against any act or resolution which he may think injurious to the public, or an individual, and have the reasons for his dissent entered on the journals; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall, at the desire of any two members present, be entered on the journals.

I have here a written statement explaining one reason inter alia for our dissent on Senate File 376 to be placed into the journal as provided by Article III Section 10.

Article VII Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Iowa, states “The state may contract debts to supply casual deficits or failures in revenues, or to meet expenses not otherwise provided for; but the aggregate amount of such debts, direct and contingent, whether contracted by virtue of one or more acts of the general assembly, or at different periods of time, shall never exceed the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars; and the money arising from the creation of such debts, shall be applied to the purpose for which it was obtained, or to repay the debts so contracted, and to no other purpose whatever.”

On 24 April 2009, the Iowa House passed Senate File 376, which issues bond debt of $475 million. This is clearly above the $250,000 threshold set by Article VII of the Constitution. Therefore, it is our belief that the bill is unconstitutional.

For this and other reasons we, the undersigned, object to Senate File 376 being before the body and voted against passage of the bill.

About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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