President Biden’s Budget vs Iowa’s by Betty Lord-Dinan

On Thursday, March 9th, President Biden released his proposed budget, detailing a blueprint to invest in America, lower costs for families, protect and strengthen Medicare and Social Security and reduce the deficit by making the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share, cracking down on fraud, and cutting wasteful spending on Big Pharma, Big Oil etc.–all while ensuring no one making less than $400,000 a year pays a penny in new taxes. (The White House, Office of Political Strategy & Outreach).

All of the above to help Americans, but meanwhile in Iowa, legislators tried to passed Senate File 514, to reshape our state government to “save money” … (or was it ” to help Iowans?”…or was it Governor Reynold’s Budget?) The focus of the bill was: 1) to reorganize Iowa’s State government 2 )to shrink the number of cabinet-level agencies 3) to give our Governor more power over appointments, fire-ings, and salaries of state agencies
4) to decrease 37 state agencies (& services for Iowans?) down to 16 agencies. Legislators asked if this was a power grab by the Governor. And I ask why is it necessary to remove agencies providing services to Iowans when the report from the Governor’s office is that Iowa is in good shape financially?

One amendment to the bill was made by a Republican Senator and it was accepted-to restore 2/3’s vote of the Senate first before the Governor may make any nominees. Eleven amendments were also offered for this bill by Democratic Senators; they were all refused.

As an Iowan, I am wondering why are there so many bills being pushed and passed so quickly this legislative session without time for input from our citizens? What services and rights are being taken away from us, as Iowans?

Lastly, I cherish the times when legislators could work together for the good of Iowa and journalists were
welcomed and there was a good feeling when being at Iowa’s Capitol.

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