DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Republicans have had plenty to celebrate this legislative session, as they pushed through a conservative agenda ranging from gun rights expansion to public worker collective bargaining restrictions, but none seem to be enjoying the final task of balancing the budget.
Although GOP lawmakers pride themselves on reducing government spending, they acknowledge it’s hard to make deep cuts needed in the face of sluggish tax revenue growth. Available money has also been reduced by tax cuts and credits approved in previous years.
Lawmakers could complete work as soon as this week on a roughly $7.24 billion budget that cuts funding within agencies that include health care, higher education and court services. Funding could end or be reduced for research centers that study agriculture, flooding, renewable energy and the environment.