Senate Republicans zero in on state budget

Week 12 has come to an end. The scheduled end of the legislative session is coming quickly with the goal to finish on April 16. After working through additional legislation this week and discussing appointees by the governor, our focus will soon turn to the budget.

As in previous years, Senate Republicans are dedicated to responsible, conservative spending. Even in the face of a difficult national economy, Iowa has continued as a fiscally strong state. While state revenue continues to grow, we are focused on providing sustainable increases to education, public safety, and health care.

Senate Republicans release

budget target

Senate Republicans released their budget target for FY 2025. Senate Republicans set their target at $8.872 billion.

Every year Senate Republicans have stuck with their budget principles and this budget target continues that commitment. It provides sustainable, responsible funding increases for education, law enforcement, and health care while respecting every Iowan who pays taxes to support those services.

“Next year’s budget is projected to have an ongoing surplus of more than a billion dollars, the Taxpayer Relief Fund balance is expected to be about $3.8 billion, and tax rates will continue to decline,” said Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver. “Iowa is in great fiscal shape and the economy is strong despite the headwinds of the Biden economy. I am optimistic we can do more for the taxpayer before this legislature adjourns.”

A general fund target of $8.872 billion is a 3.74 percent increase over FY 2024.

It includes the increase of $172 million in funding for public K-12 schools and minimum starting teacher pay approved earlier this week in HF 2612 and $51.25 million in new money for ESAs for a total $223.2 million in new money for K-12 education. Nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in new money for K-12 schools demonstrates just how absurd Democrats claims of “underfunding education” are.

School funding increases

pass Iowa Senate

House File 2612 passed the Iowa Senate this week. This bill included K-12 education funding increases for the next school year, as well as salary increases for teachers and more money for the support staff in our school districts. It was signed into law by Gov. Reynolds on Wednesday.

Under the bill, the minimum teacher salary in Iowa is raised to $47,500 in the first year. Next year, the minimum teacher salary will be $50,000. For teachers who have at least 12 years of experience, the minimum salary is $60,000 in the first year, and $62,000 in the following years. This boost in salaries is the biggest increase for teachers in the history of Iowa and puts our state fifth in the nation for teacher salaries. It will help support teachers across the state, attract new teachers to Iowa, and aid us in our goal of making Iowa one of the best states for education.

Additionally, this bill set the increase in funding for K-12 education for the school year starting next fall. This increase is in addition to the funding they get currently. Along with the other education expenses we will have this year, including teacher salaries, money for support staff, transportation equity, and special education, we are looking at over $172 million in additional funding for Iowa public schools next year. Total spending on education will be approximately $3.8 billion for Iowa public schools.

State Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink, R-Fort Dodge, represents Calhoun, Pocahontas, Sac and Webster counties.


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