Friday, March 20, 2009

The Numbers are Out

A big, fat OUCH. The Revenue Estimating Conference met today to project the budget for the remained of 2009 and into 2010. It isn't pretty. The new estimate for 2009 is a decrease of $158 million in total net receipts as compared to actual FY 2008. For 2010: The new estimate is a decrease of $164.4 million in total net receipts as compared to estimated FY 2009.

Contrary to what you might be hearing - Iowa does not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Added state programs, full time employees to go with those programs, money to repair historic pipe organs, and satellite radio in state vehicles adds up. Where will it stop?

Hello! What have we been saying the last two years? Spending at an unsustainable level has put Iowa in the red. Be prepared, my friends, bad things are on the horizon.

Here is a great suggestion for the spending practices going on in the state:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Healthcare Dictatorship

This afternoon a bill requiring Iowans to have health insurance passed with bipartisan opposition in the Iowa Senate.

The bill requires Iowans, whose income is at or below the 300% level of the Federal Poverty Level - or just over $60,000 - to enroll their children in a state-run health insurance plan. If Iowans do not enroll in a form of health insurance, residents will face penalties created by the Department of Human Services and Department of Revenue. We don't yet know what those penalties will be but it is likely to be monetary. So what the Democrats proposed is penalizing the poorest of our population? Many would say these people already have enough hardships without the insurance police coming after them.

The bill creates more bureaucracy by having an insurance board that is legally untouchable. They can make decisions on these insurance cases in this new program but appealing those decisions will be virtually impossible.

Anytime an uninsured child goes into a hospital for care, they are never turned away. Iowa has Hawk-I provided for kids for free or at a reduced rate. These programs have worked perfectly in the past. In fact, if you turn on your car radio on any given day, you'll hear a Hawk-I commercial. The state has been promoting the heck out of this program.

This bill is another step toward socialized medicine that will end up raising insurance rate with private insurers. All of Iowa will feel the pain of this bill.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Name That Bill!

Last week was what is called Funnel Week. Although the atmosphere does at times resemble a circus, it does not have anything to do with funnel cakes. Like a diet, it is self-imposed. Funnel Week is a deadline for pushing bills out of committees onto the legislative calendar. Typically, if a bill doesn’t make it out of committee, it is considered dead. Below is a description of bills that we’ve been talking about on this blog that amazingly made it past Funnel Week. See if you can name that bill. Good luck! The answers are at the bottom of the page.

1. Allowing union workers to live long and prosper without being burdened by management:

2. Finding the most favorable doctor to write you a note to get you out of PE class:

3. Ensuring no worker is left behind in the pay line:

4. Making sure Miss Daisy does not pollute the air and taxing you more:

5. Eventually turning over the entire road to people on banana seats and bells:

6. Making sure everyone and their dog is safe if it rains:

7. The only piece of Iowa legislation to be discussed on the Tonight Show:

8. Making sure Grandma never sends you more than $5 so your "big brother" can get more money:

9. Copy of the U.S. Constitution: $5. Slapping U.S. history in the face: Priceless. For everything else, there’s bonding.

1. Collective Bargaining
2. Dr. Shopping
3. Prevailing Wage
4. Monitoring Car Emissions

5. Bicyclists Bill of Rights
6. Flood Insurance
7. DOA or the name change of the Dept. of Elder Affairs
8. Granny Tax
9. Popular Vote

Monday, March 16, 2009

5000 Jobs? Really?

Today, Senator Jerry Behn of Boone gave his thoughts on the Senate floor about the claim that Democrats will get 5000 jobs out of their latest $175,000,000 bonding bill.