Lawmakers have work cut out for them

Prichard says budget will dominate session

State Rep. Todd Prichard knows there are a whole bunch of lists out there that depict all the issues he and his fellow lawmakers will face in 2018.

But if he’s learned anything in his five years in the Legislature, it is this: It all starts with the budget.

That was true when he first went to Des Moines in 2013, and that remains the cardinal rule as he and his fellow lawmakers began the 2018 session on Monday.

And that budget isn’t pretty right now so lawmakers not only will have to craft a plan for the fiscal year that starts in July but they will in all likelihood need to make cuts to the budget in place for this year.

“We’re going to have to deal with the budget,” said Prichard, the Democrat from Charles City who represents Chickasaw County in the State House of Representatives. “Revenues are not where they need to be, and I think the obvious answer is we’re giving away way too much in tax credits. When the economy is doing as well as it’s doing and we’re underfunding so much, that tells you something.”

Analysts say the shortfall is about $37 million for the current budget year, although there’s hope that federal tax reform will actually help Iowa’s budget by the tune of $16 million.


For more of this article, see Tuesday's Tribune.

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