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State Government Program Elimination | Iowa Republican Governor Debate (May 20, 2010)

posted on May 20, 2010

Obradovich: All right. Let's turn now to questions about taxes and spending. We are back to one minute responses and we'll start with Mr. Vander Plaats. Other than preschool which you've already all said that you would consider for budget cuts, name two specific programs that you would either significantly cut or eliminate. Tell us why you think Iowans can do without that service. And then tell us how much you think you'll save.

Vander Plaats: I think the first one, Kay, is benefits to illegal immigrants and I believe the target that was on it was somewhere between $90 and $110 million if we took away benefits to adults who are illegal immigrants. I think that is part of holding, again, the respect for the rule of law and holding them accountable. But the other one being a former educator is I believe we need to take a look at the AEA system that we have in the state of Iowa.

Vander Plaats: That at best guess is about a $400 million bureaucracy on top of classrooms. I think it's ridiculous that we're cutting teachers today, the front lines in the classroom while we're still upholding a bureaucracy that just pushes down mandates on top of the classroom. That's why I say we need to have the highest of standards in education but we need to let the teachers teach and direct those resources to the classroom and get away from the bureaucracy. You have a lot of educators today, a lot of school districts today that are cutting teachers, they're cutting programs that will have a direct impact on kids. We need to start taking a look at that bureaucracy on top of education and I believe we can substantially reduce that fiscal responsibility.

Obradovich: Thank you. Mr. Branstad, you're next.

Branstad: Well, first of all, when we did this before and we passed the spending reforms which was recommended by the Fisher commission we said that only 99% of December revenue estimates and we're going to live with that and we're going to enforce that and I did that from 1993 until I left office and it worked and that's why we were able to cut taxes and that's why we were able to leave a large surplus. I think that certainly funding for groups like Planned Parenthood that are using tax monies and are involved in promoting abortion, although the money they get from the state may not be used for abortions, I don't think the state should be funding that.

Branstad: I think there also can be significant savings in the Area Education Agencies by eliminating some of the bureaucracy. We still need to provide the services to special ed and things like that. And in terms of preschool I'm for preschool, I just don't think it should be funded solely by the state. I think we should partner with the non-profits and with private sector people to provide those important services.

Obradovich: Thank you. Mr. Roberts.

Roberts: This is where my ten years of current legislature service is invaluable to me as a candidate, will be invaluable to me as governor. House republicans have devoted the last several years working through the budget, finding specific areas where we could reduce spending, cut costs and contribute to some significant budget savings within state government.

Roberts: I would also eliminate taxpayer funded benefits for illegal alien adults, probably somewhere in the area of $92 million. I would sell off and privatize the state vehicle fleet for a savings of $18 million. I would not implement the statewide model core curriculum in our public K-12 school system for a savings of $10.5 million and I would not fund Planned Parenthood which would save approximately $2.5 million. So, there are some specifics in areas of the budget where I would eliminate or cut spending.

Obradovich: Thank you very much.


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