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Steckman explains Branstad’s veto of over $130 million from state budget

State Rep. Sharon Steckman
State Rep. Sharon Steckman

From Rep. Sharon Steckman –

The Governor finished action on legislation from the 2013 Legislative Session last week, which included item-vetoes of more than $130 million from the budget. A substantial number of the Governor’s item-vetoes centered on House File 648, a bill that appropriated $332 million to reduce state debts, shore up pension funds and address infrastructure issues in the state. The bill had broad bipartisan support passing the House 97-0. The Governor vetoed an $18.9 million appropriation to the Judicial Retirement Fund and a $91.3 million appropriation to the Peace Officer’s Retirement Fund. These appropriations would have improved the solvency of these retirement funds. While the Governor offered no plan to improve the solvency, he noted in his veto message that both the State and participants of the fund should work as financial partners to bring the funds to financial balance.

The Governor vetoed items that will impact service delivery for Iowa’s children, seniors, and persons with disabilities of kinds. The Governor vetoed $8.715 million to reduce waiting lists for Home and Community Based Services which means children, seniors, and adults with intellectual disabilities, brain injury, or physical disability will be forced to wait longer for services. He vetoed a $13 million appropriation to the mental health risk pool to help with county mental health services. The Governor also vetoed policy provisions that would have moved funding and responsibility for mental health advocates to the state and eliminated an unfunded mandate on local property taxpayers. The veto means Iowa will still not have a consistent state wide advocates system.

Also vetoed was $7 million in funding to the Board of Regents to renovations and additions of buildings at the three state universities. These funds were essentially for planning costs for the following projects: $3 million to the University of Iowa for renovation, modernization, and construction of a new addition at the pharmacy building, $2.5 million to Iowa State University for the construction of a new biosciences building, and $1.5 million to the University of Northern Iowa for renovation of the Schindler Education Center. The Governor vetoed these items because they failed to include all the financing for the entire project. He also directed the Board of Regents to engage in long-term strategic planning process to review infrastructure needs in light of changes in educational technology.

The Governor’s item vetoes will be added to the surplus that was anticipated in the budget, bringing the FY 2013 ending balance from an estimated $647 million to over $780 million.

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@bodacious-doesn’t change the fact that all she and her buddy Ragan want to do is SPEND, SPEND, SPEND. She offered nothing as an explanation. Just a listing of stuff she didn’t like. What about Branstads reasons for the vetoes? I am sure he had one. What was it?

OK-where is the explanation. All I see for the most part is a listing of vetoes (most of which I agree with). As a matter of fact other than maybe the mental health vetoes I think the rest are good.

Just listing them does nothing for me. I is a veiled attempt to discredit Branstad for saving the taxpayers some money.

I guess it should surprise no one that one of the SPEND sisters wouldn’t like that.

LVS – the “spend sisters” should include all 87 of those representatives who voted yes to the bill. Did you note that the vote was 87-0. So, that means a number of Republicans also voted yes, doesn’t it?

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