WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Culver Believes Budget Can Stay Balanced

Burlington, IA – Declining revenues led Iowa Governor Chet Culver to take some drastic steps to balance the current state budget. He convinced state worker unions to accept unpaid furlough days and reduced travel.

Culver also ordered an across-the-board 10% cut in state spending. He said, during a stop in Burlington, a large, one-time cut was the best option.

"Actually, today, we have a balanced budget because of that cut," says Culver, "and we still have about $400-million in our rainy day/cash reserves."

Governor Chet Culver says there are still 5 months to go in the current fiscal year, so the spending plan must be monitored closely. He hopes Iowa will get some positive news when the next revenue estimate comes out in March.

Culver says he is optimistic as I-JOBS funded projects move forward. He touted, during his stop, the construction of new housing units at Hope Haven Development Center using about $400,000 in state money.

Culver says another positive from the 10% cut in state spending is the impact on the upcoming budget.

Early estimates show that the 2010/2011 state budget could have a shortfall of $500-million to $1-billion. Culver says the cut in spending will be noticed as lawmakers craft the multi-billion dollar spending plan.

You can hear Iowa Governor Chet Culver's speech in Burlington by clicking the audio link above.