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Senator Amanda Ragan: “Working with a tight budget”


This news story was published on April 15, 2017.
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Amanda Ragan

From Senator Amanda Ragan of Mason City –

It’s more necessary than ever that Iowa takes every possible step to preserve educational opportunity in our schools. The new budget proposal significantly reduces funding for preK-12 initiatives and, in some cases, eliminates popular programs.

I cannot support unnecessary cuts that threaten the quality of Iowa education. It’s the worst thing we could do for Iowa’s future. I will, however, look for any possible way to help our students and schools.

Here are two approaches we’re working on this year:

1. Flexibility in using school funding – I was proud to support HF 564, which adds to the expenses allowed under various categories of funding. This will help schools use limited funding effectively. Similarly, HF 565 allows some unused funds to go into a “Flexibility Account” to be used in a broader fashion to achieve the goals of the original funding.

2. Greater authority for school boards – HF 573 allows school districts broader powers similar to those that city and county governments have.

These bills won’t overcome the struggles created by years of inadequate state funding, but they may help our schools better manage the limited dollars they have to work with.

Efforts this year to balance the budget have included many bad ideas. Breaking promises made to IPERS members may be the next bad idea on the list.

The Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS) is a retirement plan used by many teachers, nurses, police officers and firefighters, and other local and state public employees. Their monthly contributions and contributions from their employers are invested and managed by a non-partisan board. Those investments provide 70 percent of payments to retirees.

IPERS is in good financial shape and is nationally praised for its non-partisan, long-term approach. This January, Governor Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds acknowledged this, saying, “It’s the long-term performance that’s important and indicates financial health. IPERS is secure, strong and sustainable.”

“Rick Juchems of Plainfield is the Soil & Water Conservation Commissioner for Butler County and a member of the Iowa Soybean Board. Mike Webb of Mason City is a self-described outdoor enthusiast. They were among a large group advocating for secure funding for the Iowa Natural Resources & Outdoor Recreation Fund.”

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18 Responses to Senator Amanda Ragan: “Working with a tight budget”

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 16, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Schools need to be private and not public, only the people going the school would pay for the service . So there’s no tax money laundering among the pubic employees.

    • Avatar

      bodacious Reply Report comment

      April 17, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Who is going to oversee this ‘privatization’ of education? No one? And when you say only the people going to school will pay, what happens to the ones who can’t pay? It also shows you don’t see an educated society benefiting society. It does. Look what happened in November – that should prove what an uneducated society does when provoked.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 16, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    She is mad because she spent all the money and has nothing left to spend.

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 16, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    She is just mad because she has SPENT all the money and there is nothing left.

  4. Avatar

    bodacious Reply Report comment

    April 16, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Senator Ragan said there were program “cuts”. That is accurate. She pays her own health insurance. Linda Upmeyer pays $20 a month. Budgets are tight in this state because our governor gives hundreds of millions to his corporate buddies so that they will create jobs. They don’t do that. You need to read to understand this rather than just bash Senator Ragan every time she makes headlines.

  5. Avatar

    John Reply Report comment

    April 16, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Only a democrat can call a small increase in spending a “cut.” It gets old listening to it and the Media never calls them out on it.

  6. Avatar

    Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

    April 16, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    I thought budgets were supposed to be tight? Aren’t we entrusting our political leaders from both parties to make sure every tax dollar is spent and used wisely?

  7. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 16, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Still a Dumb Ass TROLL.

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 16, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Poor Amanda. None of our money left for her to SPEND. The Democrats have spent it all.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 16, 2017 at 6:54 pm

      Democrats didn’t spend it. Republicans gave it away in tax cuts that were to create jobs. Guess what–pioneer and the others took the money and cut jobs.

  9. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 16, 2017 at 8:27 am

    She is just mad because the Democrats have spent all the money and there is nothing left for her to SPEND!

  10. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 16, 2017 at 8:01 am

    She is just mad because there is nothing left to SPEND. The Democrats spent it all.

  11. Avatar

    Lloyd Reply Report comment

    April 15, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Join the club! The workers always have a tight budget to work with because somebody has to bend over and grab there ankles to pay ungodly taxes for your crap! Pay for your own $#!? for a change and Stop complaining.