Iowa universities shoulder most of Republican-backed $35M midyear budget cuts
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Republicans finalized mid-year cuts of more than $35 million to the state’s $7.2 billion budget on Wednesday night.
The University of Iowa and Iowa State University will shoulder most of the cuts, at around $11 million, which means tuition increases for students.
A program that helps businesses expand will lose $10 million. An agency that oversees health services will see a reduction of $4.3 million.
Corrections will lose $3.4 million. Senator Chaz Allen, D-Newton, warned that Iowa prisons might grow more crowded while staffing would be reduced.
The budget for community colleges will be reduced by $500,000.
Despite Democrats’ warnings, Republicans say that the budget is fiscally responsible.
“Let me be clear: Iowa is in sound financial shape. Revenues are growing, just not as quickly as anticipated,” said Senate President Charles Schneider, R-West Des Moines.
The spending reductions are needed to balance the state’s $7.2 billion budget for the fiscal year ending June 30 because of a shortfall in state revenue.
The GOP-controlled Senate voted 28-21 for the budget cuts through June. The Republican-majority House voted for the same plan Tuesday. It now heads to GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds.