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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Owen’

IPP And Senator Dvorsky On The Budget Shortfall

Last Monday Mike Owen the Executive Director of the Iowa Policy Project and Research Director Peter Fisher gave a presentation at the Moral Monday meeting March 13th.

This video is about 40 minutes long. It is all very self-explanatory except for the reference to “REC” in the beginning. REC in this instance means “Revenue Estimating Commission” I believe. This is the second estimation that predicted a major shortfall in revenue. You may recall the first one resulted in across the board cuts.

IPP and its partner have been discussing this possibility for years.

When the news out of Des Moines doesn’t seem to add up despite the assertions of Republican politicians, the Iowa Policy Project is the place to turn to for analysis that breaks through the crap and tells the truth.

Times should be far from disastrous right now. As Barack Obama left office he left behind a robust economy. When states like Iowa and Kansas are having fiscal problems in good general economies most likely the wounds are self inflicted.

Senator Dvorsky

In his weekly newsletter Senator Bob Dvorsky had this observation on the budget shortfall:


Iowa has a revenue problem that must be addressed. The latest evidence came this week when Iowa’s Revenue Estimating Conference, a panel of nonpartisan budget experts, met to assess state revenues and expenses. They reported that Iowa has a shortfall of $131 million this fiscal year, which ends June 30; and less growth than expected for the fiscal year that starts on July 1.

This announcement comes on the heels of prior midyear budget cuts totaling nearly $118 million. To address the last shortfall, legislative Republicans pushed through a massive de-appropriation that hurt our regent’s institutions and community colleges by stripping them of $20 million. That cut also took millions out of the Department of Corrections, the Department of Public Safety and the Judicial Branch, which has a direct impact on safety for all Iowans. Fortunately, the decision has been made to use the “rainy day fund” for the current shortfall — a reserve that the state has for situations just like this budget shortfall and the last one.

With budget shortfalls like these, it is time we work in a bipartisan fashion to realign our budget with what is good for Iowa. In 2018 alone, the State of Iowa is projected to give out almost $70 million to major corporations via one tax credit, the Research Activities Credit or RAC. That is money that could be used to benefit all Iowans, not just large corporations. Senate Democrats stand ready to work with legislative Republicans and the Branstad-Reynolds Administration to restore fiscal stability to our state budget by investing in local schools and job-creation initiatives, and re-examining out-of-control spending on tax credits.

We must make commonsense decisions that balance the state budget and grow Iowa’s economy.

Change At Iowa Policy Project

iowa policy project

We would like to note that the folks at Iowa Policy Project have announced a change at the top.

It is not a huge change. David Osterberg has stepped down as the executive director. Mike Owen, Mr. Osterberg’s long time assistant, has moved up to the executive director spot.

The Iowa Policy Project and its subsidiary Iowa Fiscal Partnership, has a tremendous reputation for integrity. Over the years IPP has really demystified the effects of potential policies and thus helped to deflate much of the unfounded overblown rhetoric which sometimes comes with some often half-baked ideas. This year analysis of the medicaid expansion and the property tax cuts were especially enlightening.

Mr. Osterberg will not entirely leave. He will be stepping back to a research role. Make no doubt though, his replacement is more than capable of continuing the excellent work we have come to rely on. Mike Owen has a long record in journalism and public policy.

Much of IPP’s focus is on the effect of policy on Iowa Families. The staff that has done so much work on the research over the years remains in place. That includes Peter Fisher, Heather Gibney and Heather Milway. Their work speaks for itself.

So with this announcement we would like to say thanks for what you have done, Mr. Osterberg. And we look forward to continuing thorough research to tell the stories that we don’t hear from politicians with Mr. Owen in charge.