Iowa state budget (2010-2011)

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Iowa's $6.2 billion state budget for FY2011 was signed on March 30, 2010.[1]

Going into the fiscal year the state had a total state debt of $6,841,508,016, when calculated by adding the total of outstanding debt, pension and OPEB UAAL’s, unemployment trust funds and the 2010 budget gap as of July 2010.[2]

2011 State spending & deficit in billions[3]
Total spending Human services Education Protection Administration
$5.6 $1.4 $3.2 $0.6 $0.31
2011 Local spending & deficit in billions[4]
Total spending Pension Healthcare Education Welfare Protection Transport Deficit
$17.9 $0 $2 $6.1 $0.3 $1 $1.4 $9.9

Fiscal Year 2011 State Budget

Find the state’s FY2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) compiled by the state government online.[5]

The state was expected to had a surplus in the range of $500 million to $700 million for FY2011 and on April 18, 2011, both chambers of the legislature passed a plan unanimously to use that money to pay for tax cuts and programs favored by both parties. The first $60 million would create a fund for unspecified tax cuts, $18 million was go to pay legal bills for poor defendants, $27 million would go towards mental health, prisons and community colleges and another $20 million would be used to reduce the waiting list to get into mental health treatment programs.[6]

With days left in office in January 2011, Gov. Culver ordered $83.7 million in cuts to balance the FY2011 budget, using authority granted by the legislature in 2010.[7] He also said he would use $5 million from the state's cash reserve to restore some of the funding to the departments of corrections, human services and public safety.[7]

The Revenue Estimating Conference announced in early December 2010 that the state would likely collect about $34 million more in taxes than previously estimated for FY2011 thanks to the improving economy.[8]

Following the shortest state legislative session in nearly four decades, the Iowa legislature adjourned after passing a balanced budget.[3] The budget increased property taxes and made cuts to state government.[3] The state faced a budget shortfall of approximately $1 billion for FY 2011 in addition to $415 million for the 2010 budget.[9] To address the shortfall faced by the state, the Legislature changed purchasing and computer operations, merged some small agencies, and restructured operations in some larger departments. When combined with an early retirement package offered to state employees, $270 million were saved.[10]

Of the expenses in FY2011 state budget, $725 million of them were to be paid for with one-time sources of income, the majority of which were federal stimulus funds.[11]

A review by the nonpartisan Iowa Taxpayers Association concluded that the FY2011 state budget was projected to spend more money than was collected via tax revenue. The group also expressed concern over lawmakers' funding ongoing expenses with time-limited or one-time revenue sources topping $600 million.[12]

State Budget in Prior Years

The state ended FY2010 with a nearly $336 million surplus and one of the largest balances in state history.[13] The surplus was in addition to $419 million in various “rainy day” or emergency accounts.[13] Gov. Culver said that those figures showed that the budget was balanced, but Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley challenged that assessment, noting that the governor failed to mention the one-time money spent for ongoing expenses and funding shifts.[14]

The Iowa General Assembly passed a reduced budget for FY 2010 of $5.77 billion compared to $5.9 billion for FY 2009.[15] Gov. Chet Culver announced October 8, 2009 he was implementing a 10% across-the-board cut in state government spending. Revenue estimates projected declines in state revenue of 8.4%, or $414.9 million, compared to last year.[16] The preliminary plans included a proposed reduction of 1,321 state government positions, including 791 layoffs and eliminating 529 vacant positions.[17] The 10% cut represents a reduction of $564.4 million.[18]

Reduced revenue projections in April of 2009 led Gov. Culver to revise and cut 7.9% from his FY 2010 budget recommendation to the Legislature during its session.[19]

Budget background

See also: Iowa state budget and finances

In Iowa state agencies prepare and submit requests by October 1st for the following fiscal year. On December 15 the Revenue Estimating Conference (dead link), comprised of the Governor, the director of legislative services agency, and a third member agreed to by the other two, meet to estimate the revenue for the upcoming fiscal year. The Governor then reviews the budget requests by state agencies, conducts public hearings and submits recommendations to the General Assembly in January. From January through February the legislature hosts a variety of joint meetings. Once the budget bill was approved the bill was submitted to the Governor, who had line-item veto authority in appropriations bills.[20]
Iowa's fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30.

Section 8.31, Code of Iowa, states that if the Governor determines that the estimated budget resources during the fiscal year were insufficient to pay all appropriations in full, the reductions shall be uniform and prorated between all departments, agencies, and establishments upon the basis of their respective appropriations. Gov. Culver ordered a 1.5% reduction of $89.1 million for FY 2009. The FY 2009 budget was reduced in total cuts from $6.13 billion to $5.95 billion. The latest round of cuts for the current fiscal year reduces the FY 2010 General Fund budget to $5.18 billion, $5.77 billion with federal funds.[21]

Budget figures

The following table provides a history of Iowa's general fund ending balances for the past decade[13]:

Fiscal Year Balance
2001 $0.0 million
2002 $89.0 million
2003 $-45.3 million
2004 $166.0 million
2005 $166.2 million
2006 $361.9 million
2007 $261.6 million
2008 $196.4 million
2009 $0.0 million
2010 $335.6 million

The following table provides a history of Iowa's expenditures and gross domestic product (GDP).

Fiscal Year Expenditures (billions) GDP (billions)
2000 $17.2[22] $90.2[22]
2001 $18.2[22] $91.9[22]
2002 $19.3[22] $97.4[22]
2003 $19.9[22] $102.2[22]
2004 $20.6[22] $111.9[22]
2005 $21.4[22] $115.6[22]
2006 $23.0[22] $121.9[22]
2007 $24.7[22] $129.0[22]
2008 $26.4[22] $136.5[22]
2009 $28.4*[22] $144.4*[22]
  • NOTE: The figures for FY 2009 won't be finalized until the end of the fiscal year

2009-2010 budget crisis

See also: Iowa state budget (2008-2009)

The state of Iowa was currently facing a budget shortfall of approximately $1 billion shortfall for FY 2011 in addition to $415 million for the current budget.[9] In October 8, 2009 the governor announced that he was implementing a 10% across-the-board cut in state government spending. Revenue estimates projected declines in state revenue of 8.4%, or $414.9 million, compared to last year.[16] The preliminary plans included a proposed reduction of 1,321 state government positions, including 791 layoffs and eliminating 529 vacant positions.[17]

In February 2010 a package for early retirement incentives for state workers was given final approval by the Senate and the House. The plan was estimated to save the state $60 million a year and reduce the budget shortfall.[23][24] Additionally, lawmakers were considering a plan to "streamline state government." According to officials the reform could save the state $300 million in the first year of the 5-year effort.[25]

Accounting principles

See also: Iowa government accounting principles

The Iowa State Auditor was David A. Vaudt. The Auditor of State was a constitutional official, elected every four years. The Auditor was required to annually make a complete audit of the books, records and accounts of every department of state government. Iowa’s audit reports were published online.[26][27]

The Iowa Department of Administrative Services (DAS) was created on July 1, 2003. Ray Walton became Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Administrative Services in 2007. DAS Core consists of:[28]

  • Finance and Operations
  • Legal Counsel
  • Legislative Liaison
  • Marketing and Communications

Budget transparency

Recently, Gov. Branstad signed into law a bill that would create a searchable, online state budget database.[29]

See also: Evaluation of Iowa state website
See also: Iowa Open Records Law

Economic stimulus transparency

See also: Iowa Open Records Law
  • Iowa would receive approximately $209 million from the federal government under HR 15486, a $26 billion plan to give states money for Medicaid and education that the President signed into law on August 10, 2010.[30] Approximately $128 million of the money was intended for the state’s Medicaid program.[31][32]
  • It was estimated that Iowa would receive at least $1.5 billion in federal funding.[33]
  • There was an economic recovery website for Iowa.[34]

Government tools

The following table was helpful in evaluating the level of transparency provided by a state spending and transparency database:

Criteria for evaluating spending databases
State Database Searchability Grants Contracts Line Item Expenditures Dept/Agency Budgets Public Employee Salary
None n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

Support for creation of the database

Although State Representative Jamie Van Fossen supported transparency legislation, House File 2439 failed to pass, according to the Public Interest Institute's October edition of the "Iowa Transparency Newsletter."[35]

Independent transparency sites

Although there was no state spending database in Iowa, there were several links (provided below) related to Iowa's level of transparency:

Public employee salary information

Iowa's Des Moines Register maintains a searchable public employee salary database.[36]

Additionally, the Department of Administrative Services posted some salary data online.[37]

See also

External links

Additional Links


  1. "Parties offer competing views of the session as Legislature adjourns" March 31, 2010
  2. State Budget Solutions “States Hide Trillions in Debt” July 22, 2010
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Iowa Publications, FY2011 Budget
  4. USA Spending, State Guesstimated* Government Spending
  5. FY2011 CAFR (dead link)
  6. Businessweek "Iowa lawmakers agree to spend surplus on tax cuts" April 18, 2011
  7. 7.0 7.1 Bloomberg "Iowa governor orders $83.7 million spending cut" Jan. 4, 2011]
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named up
  9. 9.0 9.1 KCCI,"$1 Billion Iowa Budget Shortfall Projected," November 25, 2009
  10. Business Week "A look at Iowa legislative session" March 30, 2010
  11. "Big revenue gap awaits lawmakers next session" April 5, 2010
  12. The Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier "State budget plan gets mixed review" July 18, 2010
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 The Des Moines Register "Culver cheers: Iowa’s budget posts one of largest ending balances in history" Sept. 30, 2010
  14. The Sioux City Journal "Iowa budget surplus parks campaign sparring" Oct. 1, 2010
  15. Iowa Graybook, “FY 2010 Appropriations Tracking,” July 14, 2009
  16. 16.0 16.1 Gov. Culver Press Release , “Governor Culver’s Statement on Balancing the State Budget,” October 8, 2009
  17. 17.0 17.1 Gov. Culver Press Release , “Preliminary Departmental Plans Released on State Budget Cuts,” October 21, 2009
  18. Iowa Legislative Services Agency, “Across-the-Board Reductions,” October 2009 (timed out)
  19. Gov. Culver Press Release , “Governor Culver: During Tough Times, We Must Be Fiscally Responsible,” April 3, 2009 (dead link)
  20. State of Iowa, "Iowa state budget process," January 1,2006
  21. Iowa Legislative Services Agency, “Across-the-Board Reductions,” October 2009 (timed out)
  22. 22.00 22.01 22.02 22.03 22.04 22.05 22.06 22.07 22.08 22.09 22.10 22.11 22.12 22.13 22.14 22.15 22.16 22.17 22.18 22.19 US Government Spending, "Iowa State and Local spending," accessed February 27,2009
  23. Business Week, "Iowa Senate gives final OK to retirement plan," February 4, 2010 (dead link)
  24. Omaha World-Herald, "Iowa budget could be reframed," January 25, 2010 (dead link)
  25. Associated Press, "Culver: Effort would save $200 million or more," January 25, 2010
  26. audit reports
  27. Iowa State Auditor Web site, accessed October 22, 2009
  28. Iowa Department of Administrative Services Web site, accessed October 22, 2009
  29. Chicago Tribune, Branstad signs budget web site into law, March 7, 2011
  30. Federal Fund Information for States “ARRA FMAP Extension & Education Jobs Fund Totals” Aug. 11, 2010
  31. "Gov. Culver: Hails House approval of aid to Medicaid, teachers" Aug. 11, 2010
  32. H.R. 1586
  33. Wall Street Journal, "Stimulus Spending by State"
  34. Economic Recovery - Iowa
  35. House File 2439
  36. Des Moines Register searchable public employee salary database
  37. Department of Administrative Services Salary Data