DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Latest on activity at the Iowa Legislature (all times local):
An aide to Gov. Terry Branstad says he generally supports legislation by Senate Republicans that would create a state program for distributing family planning money and excludes funding for Planned Parenthood.
Ben Hammes, a spokesman for Branstad, confirmed Tuesday that Branstad supports the idea of a state-run program that directs family planning money to organizations that do not perform abortions.
Such a program is referenced in a bill filed Monday by Republicans that would turn down federal Medicaid dollars used for family planning. Hammes says Branstad still needs to review details of the legislation. House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, of Clear Lake, also says she supports the idea but needs to read specifics in the bill.
It’s unclear how much a new state program would cost, and the issue may evolve if the new Republican-majority Congress and President-elect Donald Trump change how federal Medicaid funds are distributed.
Gov. Terry Branstad’s Condition of the State speech acknowledges that the Republican governor has asked state agencies to make immediate cuts to due to a $110 million shortfall in the current $7.2 billion budget.
Branstad called the directive “difficult” in a major address to lawmakers Tuesday at the Capitol, referencing a set of spending recommendations he released shortly before his speech.
The recommendations include cutting about $25 million from the Iowa Board of Regents, which oversees Iowa’s three public universities. It also asks the Iowa Department of Human Services to cut about $20 million from its current budget. The department oversees the Medicaid health care program that covers poor and disabled residents. Iowa’s chief budget official says the cut will not be directed at Medicaid expenses
Gov. Terry Branstad is set to deliver a major speech to Iowa lawmakers that will outline his priorities while he remains governor.
Branstad will give the annual Condition of the State address Tuesday to lawmakers at the Iowa Capitol. The speech will be Branstad’s last as governor before he resigns to become U.S. ambassador to China, though a timetable on the transition is not available.
The Republican governor is expected to discuss policy initiatives and strains on the state budget. The current roughly $7.2 billion budget has a shortfall of about $110 million. Branstad has said he plans to seek agency cuts to help fill the shortfall.
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