DES MOINES - House Speaker-elect Kraig Paulsen said Wednesday he expects there will be fewer state agencies and government programs on the books after the 2011 legislative session is completed next spring.
He said likely casualties will be the Iowa Power Fund and the Grow Iowa Values Fund that were the creations of Democratic governors. Other areas of state government likely will be on the chopping block as well as lawmakers wrestle with ways to bring spending in line with revenue.
"You should expect us to make some tough choices," Paulsen told a Des Moines Partnership lunch crowd.
"I think you're going to see us just wholesale eliminate a couple difference programs and a couple different offices, and we're going to start with those that have marginal or no benefit."
Paulsen, who will lead a 60-member GOP majority in the House when the 84th General Assembly convenes Jan. 10, said he does not expect the Iowa Legislature to reauthorize outgoing Gov. Chet Culver's Power Fund because program managers have been unable to specify how many jobs have been created by the state's $100 million investment over the past four years.
"The answer we keep getting back is we're working on that. Well, that's not good enough," Paulsen said after the forum. "That's a lot of money - it's $25 million every year, and they can't answer a simple question like that about something that's supposed to be for job creation. That's not good enough."
The Power Fund has been administered by the Iowa Office of Energy Independence in conjunction with the Iowa Power Fund Board, two entities that were created when the program was enacted in the 2007 legislative session.
Paulsen also said he would prefer to replace the Grow Iowa Values Fund, started by former Gov. Tom Vilsack, with "things that would grow the economy."
He pointed to the new public-private partnership envisioned by Gov.-elect Terry Branstad, who already has named Debi Durham of Sioux City to spearhead the new approach to job creation and business development.