The 2014 Session of the 85th General Assembly adjourned Sine Die on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 5:54 a.m. The session had already extended eight days beyond the original calendar, and the final legislative day lasted nearly 24 hours itself. The conclusion of the session was a flurry of activity after several weeks spent by political distractions and partisan sideshows. In the end, we were able to set aside differences to pass some important pieces of legislation.
The work of the 85th General Assembly will be remembered for responsible, balanced budgets, protecting taxpayers and initiatives to reform education and health care.
It is particularly important to note that for each of the four years since House Republicans have been in the majority, the state budget has been balanced, with no budget gimmicks. We have stayed true to our core principles, and built a new culture around government budgeting in Iowa. Our principles remain:
- Do not spend more money than the state takes in.
- Do not use one-time money to pay for on-going expenses.
- Do not intentionally underfund entitlement programs to balance the state’s budget.
- Return unused tax dollars to Iowa’s taxpayers.
Our budget reserves remain full and our ending balance is projected to be approximately $740 million. Our reserve funds are full, our newly-created taxpayer trust fund is returning overpayment of taxes back to Iowans, and we have retired $225 million in debt over the past two years.
With so much uncertainty over our country’s economic and fiscal future, Iowans have been well served by a state government that is stable today and prepared to meet future challenges. While it has rarely been easy, we have made divided government work in Iowa.