LEGISLATURE ENDS WITH BALANCED BUDGET; HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES & THE MIDDLE CLASS
DES MOINES – After the 2010 legislative session adjourned on Tuesday, State Representative Bob Kressig of Cedar Falls said the Iowa Legislature responsibly balanced the state budget without raising taxes while laying the groundwork for Iowa’s economic recovery.
“During these tough economic times, we focused on the priorities of middle class families – balancing the budget, good-paying jobs and a quality education,” said Kressig. “We made tough choices and reorganized state government to find over $265 million in savings instead of raising taxes, which has put Iowa in a much better position than many other states.”
For Fiscal Year 2011, which starts July 1, the budget plan approved spends less than last year and even spends less than the state budget approved four years ago. The ending balance next year will be over $180 million and an additional $200 million will still be in the state’s savings account.
“Since small businesses are the backbone of our economy, we focused our efforts this year on initiatives to make it easier for small businesses to get support and expand,” said Kressig. “We also refocused state tax credits and other programs to ensure small businesses have access to and qualify for more state assistance.”
The Legislature approved a new $5 million small business loan fund and expanded technical assistance for businesses and entrepreneurs. An additional $100,000 was given to Iowa Small Business Development Centers, which provide one on one counseling and support for business owners at 15 locations across Iowa, and the state also expanded on-line support for Iowa small businesses at MyEntre.Net.
“In tight budget times, it’s more important than ever to keep our commitment to education and our future. We will continue to provide young Iowans with a quality education and keep good teachers in the classroom,” added Kressig.
Legislators increased funding for k-12 schools $147 million next year, expanded preschool to all four year olds, and continued plans to make sure every student graduates with the skills necessary to land a good-paying job in today’s global economy.