DES MOINES, Iowa — The Latest on Iowa Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald questioning the legality of using emergency funds to address a state budget shortfall (all times local):
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ staff is dismissing a letter from the state treasurer that questions the legality of a budgetary move aimed at addressing a shortfall.
Reynolds’ press secretary Brenna Smith criticized Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald Friday by saying he and other Democrats should “quit manufacturing problems.”
Fitzgerald sent a letter Friday to the Republican governor about the $7.2 billion state budget that ended in June. He says revenue tied to the budget did not drop below a certain legal threshold that’s needed for tapping an emergency fund.
Smith says Fitzgerald is reviewing the wrong numbers. Fitzgerald disagrees with that assessment, but he says he won’t formally challenge Reynolds. He warned Reynolds could open herself up to inquiries from others if she ignores the letter.
Iowa’s treasurer says Gov. Kim Reynolds’ plan to tap an emergency fund to address a budget shortfall is not compliant with state law.
Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald sent a letter to Reynolds on Friday that says revenue tied to the state budget that ended in June did not drop below a certain legal threshold. Since revenue didn’t meet that threshold, Fitzgerald says funds can’t legally be transferred from the state’s economic emergency fund.
Reynolds announced recently that a shortfall to last year’s $7.2 billion budget wouldn’t trigger a special legislative session. She said she would instead transfer $13 million from the fund.
Multiple messages left with the Republican governor were not immediately returned Friday.
Fitzgerald says he wants Reynolds to carefully review the budget numbers before she formally taps the fund.