WEST DES MOINES - Gov. Chet Culver outlined $75 million in state spending cuts that he said are needed because of the ailing economy and unexpected spending on flood and tornado recovery.
The governor said he had asked state department heads a few weeks ago to identify $40 million in cuts after the state Revenue Estimating Conference projected the state would see a $38 million drop in tax dollars in the current fiscal year. Culver also cited a drop in corporate tax revenues and reduced growth in revenue from personal income taxes.
The cuts from the current budget are needed, Culver said, to ensure that Iowa has enough money at the end of the year to remain fiscally sound and be in position to handle any emergencies that may arise.
In addition to that amount, Culver said he will ask lawmakers to withdraw $37 million in funding for a proposed new state office building to replace the aging Wallace Building.
"After careful analysis of several of the department recommendations, I am now directing cuts to some of our current expenditures for the remainder of the fiscal year without impacting services that Iowans rely on," Culver said.
Included in the cuts Culver identified are:
-Freezing current job vacancies and reducing overtime for an estimated savings of $12.5 million.
-Freezing out-of-state travel for a saving of about $1.1 million.
-Reducing the purchase of equipment and supplies along with contracts with consultants for an estimated savings of $3 million to $5 million.
-Reducing spending by the Iowa Board of Regents, the judicial branch and the legislative branch by $1.1 percent for a savings nearly $9 million.
-Transfering back to the general fund $12 million from the state alcoholic beverages division and Iowa Homeland Security.
"I want to be clear, this will not impact services provided by these departments but are funds no longer needed by those departments, especially in this economic situation," Culver said.
Culver said he will not tell departments and agencies where to make the cuts.
"I'm not going to tell them how to get there, but we know we have to find those savings," he said.
He said he understands the anxiety being created by the recession.