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Budget Deal Creates “Framework” to Adjourn Overtime Legislative Session

John Pemble/IPR
Iowa State Capitol

UPDATE:  6/1/2015 3:00 p.m. House Republicans and Senate Democrats released more details of the budget agreement reached last week.


  • Administration and Regulation                            $       51,795,769
  • Agriculture and Natural Resources                    $       43,111,995
  • Economic Development                                          $       42,250,763
  • Education                                                                     $     992,236,365
  • Health and Human Services                                  $1,839,390,492
  • Justice System                                                            $    735,791,531
  • Transportation, Infrastructure, and Capitals   $                          0
  • Unassigned Standings                                              $3,463,567,719
    GRAND TOTAL                                                          $7,168,144,634

One-time spending and debt reduction bill   $124,960,000This bill includes:

  • Additional K-12 funding                                      $   55.7 million
  • Fiscal Year 2015 Medicaid Supplemental     $   43.0 million
  • Community Colleges                                             $     2.5 million
  • University of Iowa                                                  $     2.9 million
  • Iowa State University                                           $      2.3 million
  • University of Northern Iowa                              $     1.1 million

Representative Chuck Soderberg, a Republican from Le Mars who is Chair of the House Appropriations Committee says, “Iowans expect legislators to live within our means.  We have once again found common ground that moves Iowa forward.  Living within one’s means is something the hardworking taxpayers of Iowa do every day.  Once again, government will do the same.”
Senator Bob Dvorsky, a Coralville Democrat and Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee says, “This agreement is the result of bipartisan negotiations where Democrats fought hard for priorities that will expand Iowa’s middle class.  In the end, we chose compromise over gridlock. Democrats remain committed to making smart investments in the economy, education, and health care.”

A select group of state lawmakers will be at the Capitol today, fleshing out a budget deal between House and Senate leaders that both sides say could lead to adjournment for the 2015 legislative session.      

After five hours of negotiations on Friday, leaders announced agreement on an overall budget plan.

Details will be announced today.   Approval depends on acceptance by rank and file lawmakers from both parties.

Disagreement over how much of the state surplus to spend on education and human services delayed the adjournment beyond the scheduled date of May 1st

House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says Republicans have agreed to tap some of the surplus.

“We’re still running numbers to make sure everything we think we understand  is accurate,” Paulsen says.   

Paulsen’s counterpart in the Senate, Democratic Majority Leader Mike Gronstal says his party had “some success” securing funding for K-12 education.   

“I think we  got the best we could with the hand  we were dealt,” Gronstal says.    “Voters put Democrats in control of the Senate and Republicans in control of the House and the Governor’s office.”

A representative of the Governor’s office participated in the budget talks.

Joint House-Senate budget committees will be at work today, with rank and file lawmakers returning later in the week to vote on budget bills.  

Leaders say adjournment could happen as early as this week. 

However, leaders did not announce agreement on policy issues, including gun legislation and an anti-bullying bill. 

It costs the state roughly six-thousand dollars each day lawmakers are brought back to the Capitol after the scheduled adjournment.   While their daily expense accounts have ended, their mileage back to the Capitol is paid for out of state coffers.  

Clay Masters is the senior politics reporter for MPR News.