Legislators set to begin final budgeting process

Income TaxBy Bob Eschliman


The announcement of the March Revenue Estimating Conference’s estimated General Fund revenues typically signals the in-earnest beginning of the final budget-setting process in Iowa. But, in reality, the setting of budgets is a never-ending year-round process.

With the use of the REC’s estimate, appropriations requests from the various departments and branches of government, the governor proposes a budget. The General Assembly, on the other hand, will adopt the appropriations bills that formulate the budget the state government will operate under for the next two years.

This is known as the appropriations process.

Iowa Code requires the governor’s budget must be both balanced and that it must also meet expenditure limitations. The appropriations committees in each chamber, and by extension, their subcommittees, will amend those recommendations, or formulate their own, to establish a final working budget.

The House and Senate must both approve a final budget in the same form before it is sent to the governor for approval. The governor is granted line-item veto authority under the Iowa Constitution; a veto must be overridden prior to adjournment of the legislative session, or during a special session of the General Assembly.

Each fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends the following June 30.