MASON CITY – State Representative Sharon Steckman says a sluggish economy has lead to lower state revenues and a potentially difficult budgeting process in this year’s legislative session.
Mrs. Steckman, a Democrat, says the Legislature has “some tough budget decisions to make when they come back in January due to declining state revenues.” According to details she released in a statement, at the Revenue Estimating Conference’s (REC) December meeting, the state budget is $135 million in the red.
She went on to say that “during the 2016 legislative session, the Legislature and Governor adopted a fiscal year 2017 budget that appropriates $7.350 billion for the time period of July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017. When the Legislature created the fiscal year 2017 budget, it was $75 million below the estimated available revenue. However, due to declining revenues the estimates now show the state has a $135 million shortfall. Included in that shortfall is an additional $21 million needed for Branstad’s Medicaid privatization plan.”
To create a budget for fiscal year 2018, (July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018), the Governor and the Legislature will use the estimated revenues from the REC’s December meeting. The REC predicts that there will be a 4.8% growth for FY 2018, which equates to a total of $7.556 billion.