Clel BaudlerThe budget, the budget and more of the budget… that’s the topic Iowa legislators are spending the vast majority of their time discussing right now according to House District 20 State Representative Clel Baudler.

Last week, the legislature’s Revenue Estimating Council announced that Iowa is expected to take in just under $7 billion in revenue next fiscal year, and Baudler says most talks between the House and Senate revolve around how to split up the pieces of that pie.

One budgetary item that the House and Senate differ on relates to Justice Appropriations.

“We in the House had worked the number around and got down to… For instance with state patrol, 30 to 33 new troopers is what we were going to gain in the next academy.  So we went over and met with budget chairs in the Senate, and Senator (Thomas) Courtney (D-Burlington) goes, ‘Oh no, I want half that money for new correctional officers’.  And so right now, the way it looks we’re in a knife fight if you will over who wins this battle.  That money could revert back to the General Fund if they can’t come to an agreement.”

When it comes to agreeing on a budget each legislative session, Baudler says most of the budget difficulty is due to the great number of varying philosophies between legislators.

“What are we going to spend money on, who is going to get the money, Medicaid, health and human services, education… those types of things… if there is a dollar out there, there are people that want to save it and people that want to spend it plus another 50 cents.  That’s the difference.”

To hear Baudler discuss budget talks and other bills being debated in more depth, tune-in to tomorrow’s Let’s Talk Guthrie County on K107 during the 9am, noon and 5pm hours.

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