Governor Reynolds’s challenger for the Republican nomination for governor has harsh words for how statehouse Republicans are managing shortfalls in the state budget.
After tax receipts fell short of projections, Republican lawmakers dipped into cash reserves to balance the budget this year.
Gov. Reynolds is expected to spend even more emergency funds to cover the shortfall, and may have to call lawmakers back into special session.
GOP gubernatorial candidate, Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett, says the shortfall was predictable and preventable.
“Last summer, people knew that the farm economy was soft, but instead of taking action last summer, they took a 'wait and see' attitude and all that did was delay the problem,” Corbett said. “There's a cost to delay."
Corbett says statehouse Republicans violated GOP principles by tapping cash reserves to pay for ongoing expenses instead of making strategic cuts.
"I mean this is a mortal sin in Republican circles to go down this road on fiscal irresponsibility and terrible budgeting practices,” Corbett said.
The non-partisan Legislative Services Agency reports that spending exceeded revenues by $104 million when the budgeting year ended June 30th.
Reynolds says she will wait until the end of September to see the final deficit number. If the shortfall exceeds $50 million she will have to call lawmakers back in special session to dip into more reserve funds.
"It seems to me that we have this culture of indecision developing in the governor's office,” Corbett said to reporters after a news conference in Des Moines where he unveiled early fundraising totals for his primary race against the incumbent governor.
In a statement, a spokesman for the Reynolds campaign said Iowa’s economy is growing. Campaign manager Phil Valenziano declined to comment on Corbett’s complaint.