A recent letter to the editor “Reynolds averted Iowa budget crisis,” on Oct. 12, by a Republican activist, paints a false picture of the state of Iowa’s fiscal house.
The truth is that Iowa’s budget has been in crisis since January when the state was forced to make $118 million in mid-year budget cuts and transfers to comply with the law. The crisis persisted when the state borrowed $131 million from the state’s reserve funds as revenues continued to fall short of expectations.
Gov. Kim Reynolds, R-Iowa, borrowed another $13 million on Sept. 28 to balance the state’s checkbook for the past fiscal year. And don’t forget, legislators and the governor must repay the borrowed $144 million.
The reality of this budget calamity is hitting home for many Iowans. Parents and the students attending our state universities and community colleges are facing higher tuition. Iowans wanting to improve their skills and find jobs have fewer opportunities. Our communities are less safe due to reduced services for victims of violence. At-risk Iowans are in peril because we have fewer caseworkers to monitor and support their needs.
As someone who is losing a job managing a program providing food for seniors living in rural Iowa, I can personally attest that this budget crisis is reducing services which ensure a better quality of life for Iowans.
Ignoring this budget crisis will not make it go away. Real Iowans are being hurt and they want honest accounting from our leaders.