ITR: Legislators fail to meet adjournment deadline

OvertimeBy Iowans for Tax Relief


As we discussed last week, Legislators missed their self-imposed deadline for adjournment last Friday.  Starting Monday the Iowa Legislature is in overtime and it does not appear Legislators will wrap up their work any time in the near future.

There was some progress on the budget this week with the Senate passing their own versions of budget bills and the House beginning to take up those bills in committee for amendments.  While this back and forth on budget bills is helpful in approving parts of the state budget and moving other bills toward conference committees, none of the work can be completed until House and Senate leadership agree on an overall budget figure.

The overall budget total and k-12 education spending are still the main hold-ups to adjourning this session.  Also, Legislators are still trying to work on some issues outside of the budget, creating a backlog of bills in committees and on each chamber’s floor.  If Senate and House leadership come to a budget compromise soon it is likely that those other issues would be abandoned, but until that point leadership can count on Legislators distracting themselves with other issues that do not need to be resolved this session.

This is why every day of overtime session is a danger to the taxpayers.  The more time Legislators have at the Capitol, the more time they have to consider spending more of Iowans’ hard-earned dollars or, even worse, increasing the tax burden on Iowans through tax increases.

The time has come for Legislators to agree on a budget and go home.  Iowans for Tax Relief calls on leadership to focus on creating a budget that spends less than the state takes in, with as small an increase in spending as possible.  Legislators must resist the temptation to dip into cash reserves to pay for ongoing annual spending.

Most Iowans must finish their work on time and do not get the opportunity to increase their household budget each year.  Senate and House leadership need to take a lesson from everyday Iowans and find a way to resolve their differences and compromise on a responsible budget that benefits Iowa’s taxpayers.