Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs made his mark on Mount Vernon. Many in town made their mark on him, too. Wirfs and his mother, Sarah, took The Gazette on a tour of his hometown, revisiting scenes around what essentially is the one square mile where he grew up. This story is a little about what can hold you back. This is mostly about what moves you forward.

2019 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Projected Iowa revenue growth slows a bit

Even so, Iowa Republicans already plan to spend less

Rep. Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford
Rep. Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford
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DES MOINES — Lawmakers in the midst of crafting the next state budget will have $20 million less than expected — but still a minor adjustment in a roughly $7.6 billion state budget.

The state panel that estimates future state revenues Friday provided its latest figures in what will be its final update before legislators approve state spending for the fiscal 2020 budget that begins July 1.

The panel now projects state revenue will be about $7.85 billion for the next fiscal year, down $20 million from its project in December. The adjustment is a reduction of .25 percent.

But Republican budget leaders in the Iowa Legislature recently proposed spending levels at roughly $7.6 billion — still hundreds of millions of dollars below Thursday’s adjusted projections.

“House Republicans have offered a responsible, conservative budget that invests in priorities and leaves a healthy ending balance,” Pat Grassley, a Republican from New Hartford who leads the House budget committee, said in a statement. “Our budget plan does not require any adjustments” after the updated projection.

Majority House Republicans have proposed a $7.67 billion budget for the coming fiscal year. Senate Republicans proposed a status quo budget of $7.62 billion.

The panel also gave its initial projection of just 2.6 percent growth in state revenue for the budget year that begins July 1, 2020.

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“The results of today’s (panel) meeting confirm Senate Republicans cautious approach to budgeting for the upcoming fiscal year,” Jack Whitver, leader of the Senate Republicans, said in a statement. “Conservative budget targets are more important now than ever.”

The panel also updated projections for the current budget year, which ends June 30.

The panel projected $7.61 billion, an increase of $5 million more than its December estimate.

That means lawmakers should not have to make midyear budget cuts and adjustments to take back money they had already approved — moves they made in each of the last two years to help balance the budgets.

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