Reynolds Budget Crisis


¹ ²

June 2013:

· Branstad-Reynolds Administration signs massive tax giveaways to special interests into law — a move that will end up killing Iowa’s financial health.³

January 2014:

· When running for reelection, Branstad says that his views are Reynolds’ views.⁴

June 2015

🏥 Two mental health centers close following Branstad-Reynolds Administration funding cuts. Several patients died after being transferred from closed facilities.

July 2015:

📚 Branstad-Reynolds Administration “vetoed several budget line items on Thursday as well, including $2.5 million for community colleges, $2.9 million for the University of Iowa, $2.3 million for Iowa State University and $1.1 million for the University of Northern Iowa”

December 2016:

· Branstad nominated as ambassador. Reynolds prepares to become governor. Reynolds says, “The reality is that we’re really not going to do anything differently [than Branstad].”

January 2017:

📊 Iowa’s budget has nearly $118 million shortfall.

📊 Branstad-Reynolds Administration strikes agreement to cut $88.2 million from critical services.¹⁰ Des Moines Register reports that Reynolds herself “collaborated with legislators on the agreement.” ¹¹


February 2017:

📚 Branstad-Reynolds Administration signs “dismal,” “not sufficient” school funding bill.¹³

📚 University of Iowa rescinds financial aid for 2,440 students as two rounds of budget cuts eliminate $26 million from higher education budget.¹⁴

March 2017:

📊 Iowa’s budget shortfall forecasted to have grown to $131 million, large cuts expected again.¹⁵

April 2017:

📊 Budget cuts in 2017 reach $250 million, causing more problems in services for Iowa residents.¹⁶


🏥 Branstad-Reynolds Administration criticized for stoppage of investigations of neglect claims after 800 jobs were cut from the Department of Human Services.¹⁸

📚 Branstad-Reynolds Administration eliminates 3rd grade reading program due to budget shortfall.¹⁹

June 2017:

📊 Reynolds borrows $50 million from state emergency fund — just years after Iowa had a billion-dollar surplus.²⁰

📚 Reynolds refuses to rule out additional cuts to higher education, even after 6 percent cuts in funding to University of Iowa and Iowa State University.²¹

· Reynolds tries to skirt accountability for her budget crisis: “The farm economy is partly to blame.”²²

July 2017:

🏥 Reynolds Administration closes two out of five Domestic Violence Intervention Program offices and defunds sexual abuse hotline.²³

🏥 Reynolds Administration eliminates all Department of Public Health funding for ten critical public health programs, including the Epilepsy Foundation, Melanoma Research, Autism Assistance Program, and Prevent Blindness Iowa.²⁴

August 2017:

📚 University of Iowa and Iowa State University forced to hike tuition by 35 percent over five years after Reynolds Administration budget cuts.²⁵ ²⁶

🏥 Reynolds Administration eliminates virtually all staff visits to nursing homes, hurting its ability to investigate complaints of abuse and neglect.²⁷

September 2017:


📊 Reynolds says she won’t commit to maintaining the state’s payments to local governments, costing cities and towns $107.2 million.²⁹ ³⁰

📊 After borrowing $50 million from the state emergency fund in June, Reynolds goes back to the emergency fund and takes an additional $13 million — a move the Iowa Treasurer said is “a violation of the Iowa law.” ³¹ ³²

October 2017:


· Des Moines Register reports that “there are as few as five state troopers on duty overnight to patrol all of Iowa,” due to Reynolds’ budget cuts.

🏥 Reynolds’ budget cuts to medical examiner’s office created backlog of autopsies, leaving “families waiting weeks for their loved one’s remains.³⁴

November 2017:

📊 Bureau of Economic Analysis finds that Iowa’s GDP slid backwards during Reynolds’ first months in office, making it the worst in the country and boding-ill for state revenue.³⁵

December 2017:

📊 State officials announce that mid-year spending cuts are imminent due to continued anemic revenue growth.³⁶

January 2018:

⚖️ Representative Chris Hall files lawsuit against Governor Reynolds alleging her $13 million transfer from the state’s economic emergency fund in September was illegal.³⁷

⚖️ Reynolds and Republican leaders admit they did not follow the letter of the law with the budget transfer. House Speaker Linda Upmeyer suggests changing the law to cover up for Governor Reynolds’ alleged wrongdoing.³⁸


🏥 Reynolds receives condemnation from both sides of the aisle for cutting $10 million from Medicaid services, despite reports of patients suffering due to lack of proper funding and management of the program.⁴⁰

⚖️ Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady says “Iowans are losing access to justice” because more than 100 court jobs remain empty following budget cuts. Despite this, Reynolds proposes cutting another $1.6 million from the judicial branch in mid-year cuts made necessary by the Reynolds Budget Crisis.⁴¹

February 2018:

📚 In their opening proposals for the legislative session, Governor Reynolds and Iowa Republicans put education on the chopping block to preserve the huge taxpayer handouts to special interests that led to the Reynolds Budget Crisis.⁴²

March 2018:

📊 Blistering column in the Cedar Rapids Gazette calls proposed Republican tax breaks “lazy” for not tackling Reynolds’ corporate and special interest tax breaks that have gutted funds for state priorities like “education, public safety, the judicial system, mental health services.”⁴³

⚖️ The Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court tells Reynolds further cuts to the Justice budget may require the closing of 30 courtrooms across the state.⁴⁴

📊 A report from the Iowa Revenue Estimating Conference confirmed that mid-year budget cuts would still be necessary — with no plan to pay back tens of millions of dollars borrowed last year.⁴⁵

📚 Reynolds signs a bill cutting millions of dollars from services that provide critical support to working Iowans. Including, but not limited to:

$11.5 million cut from Iowa’s Regent Universities and Community Colleges

$10 million cut from the state economic development authority

$4.3 million cut from Department of Human Services ⁴⁶

April 2018:

📚Following Reynolds’ cuts, The Board of Regents proposed a plan to increase tuition by 3.5 percent at Iowa’s three public universities in the fall of 2018. STEM students in particular at Iowa State could see an even higher increase to compensate for Reynolds’ mismanagement.⁴⁷

📊 Governor Reynolds and Legislative Republicans release a plan to give away hundreds of millions of dollars in state revenue to their special interest backers, all but ensuring the Reynolds Budget Crisis continues its financial stranglehold on working families in Iowa.⁴⁸ ⁴⁹

May 2018:

📊 The Iowa Legislature passes an egregious 2019 budget: increasing spending by 3.2 percent in an attempt to pay back the $114 million debt incurred by Reynolds’ hapless corporate giveaways.

The bill also decreased tax revenue with new special interest giveaways that put Iowa’s budget and future in jeopardy.

With the new Reynolds giveaway, millionaires get more than $8,000 in tax breaks, but everyday working Iowans only get $56. Reynolds also introduced new taxes on services like Hulu, Spotify, Uber, and online purchases, further squeezing the wallets of middle class Iowans.⁵⁰

June 2018:

📊 Reynolds signs the tax giveaway passed in May that digs Iowa into an even deeper financial hole.⁵¹

⚖️ Des Moines Register finds that reported cases of child abuse are skyrocketing in Iowa. Governor Reynolds slashed the Department of Human Services’ — the organization tasked with helping at risk kids — budget for just the rest of FY 2018 by $4.3 million.

July 2018:

📊 Impact of Reynolds Budget Crisis on mental health prevention and services comes to the forefront as Reynolds launches ad campaign peddling misinformation about her record on mental health that includes closing two mental health facilities and highlighting a mental health bill that will go unfunded due to Reynolds’ mismanagement of Iowa taxpayers’ money.

📚 Reynolds has consistently targeted opportunity education, our colleges and universities, with some of the most vicious, politically motivated budget cuts made necessary by her robbery of Iowa tax dollars. Those cuts forced the University of Iowa to seriously scale back their services for working Iowa families.

Those cut services include:

  • Critical resources for working people through the Labor Center
  • Support for aging Iowans
  • Tools for encouraging communication between the U.S. and China
  • Technology for Iowans with disabilities
  • Resources for health professionals looking to start new businesses

And the Reynolds Budget Crisis isn’t over yet. We intend to hold Governor Reynolds accountable for her mismanagement and misplaced priorities — join us.

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