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House GOP gets serious

By Staff | Jan 14, 2011

Republicans took control of the Iowa House of Representatives this week with an ambitious plan to bring the Hawkeye State’s spending in line with its resources.

In doing so, they are demonstrating that the pledges GOP candidates made during last fall’s campaign to restore fiscal sanity to state government were deadly serious.

Republicans made a package of spending cuts totaling approximately $500 million over three years the first order of business when the House convened Monday with a GOP majority firmly in control.

Since Democrats have a narrow majority in the Iowa Senate, the Republican proposals in the House may turn out to be the opening gambit in what promises to be a lively legislative conversation.

By opening the session with such a detailed and aggressive set of recommendations, however, Republicans are making it clear that a major reassessment of state expenditures will take place.

“The simple fact is that we have been living beyond the revenue that the state has been receiving,” state Rep. David Tjepkes, R-Gowrie, told the news media shortly after the budget-cutting plan was made public.

That, of course, is precisely why the legislative session about to commence will be far from routine.

Bringing the state’s commitments in line with present revenues and realistic projections about the years just ahead will be the No. 1 priority.

A thorough, unromantic assessment of all state and local government spending is necessary. Lawmakers must determine what expenditures are actually essential and act decisively to eliminate or reduce those that are not.

Given budgetary realities, maintaining the status quo is not an acceptable option.

Farm News commends Republican lawmakers for beginning this vital process so forcefully. It is hoped that in response to this initiative Democrats will generate constructive proposals designed to improve the GOP plan.

A serious dialogue about spending cuts is important to our state’s future. Republicans in the House are helping guarantee that takes place.

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