Governor Terry Branstad released his revised budget recommendations as a result of the Revenue Estimating Conference lowering the state's general fund revenue estimate for the current fiscal year (FY17).
Earlier during the legislative session, Iowa State University
experienced an $8.9 million cut for FY17 which will end June 30, 2017.
Now, the Governor is proposing an additional reduction of more than $4.4 million for FY18. The reduction
breaks down as follows:
- $2.4 million hit to economic development
- $1.06 million decrease to the general fund
- $1.05 million cut to ISU's share of the Regent Innovation Fund (these funds are primarily used for economic development)
The university's economic development programs have a direct impact on Iowa's businesses and entrepreneurs, and any cuts to these programs will be detrimental to the economic health of the state.
Last year, Iowa State University Economic Development and Industry Relations provided assistance and training to more than 4,700 Iowa businesses and helped more than 325 new businesses get started. Clients reported nearly 7,000 new and retained jobs, and an impact of approximately $550 million to the state's economy. Additionally, the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship reported more than 4,500 students participated in programs and classes focused on entrepreneurship, startups, and small business.
The loss of state dollars not only limits Iowa State's ability to help business and industry across the state, but it also puts the quality of the student experience at risk and jeopardizes affordability.
Therefore, Iowa State will continue to pursue all of its legislative priorities including planning dollars for its top capital priority: the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (VDL).
Critical to the early detection and effective response to diseases, the VDL is a national leader in protecting animal and human health. As the only core lab for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network in the Midwest, the caseload at the VDL has doubled over the past five years, now processing up to 80,000 cases each year and conducting 1.5 million tests annually, many with same-day results. The timely, comprehensive, and high-quality diagnosis of diseases is key to serving the state's $32 billion animal agriculture industry.
An updated standalone facility is critical to keep pace with biosecurity and service needs for animal health, food safety, public health, and the competitiveness of Iowa's animal agricultural industries for the current and future generations of Iowans.
As the state's only land-grand institution, the university has the responsibility to ensure the world's food supply is plentiful and safe, provide students with a world class learning experience, and offer assistance to startup and existing companies to generate economic prosperity in Iowa.
The Alliance for Iowa State will be paying close attention as the budget process progresses. We will continue to call on the Governor and the Iowa Legislature to make Iowa State University a priority as they develop spending plans for the coming year.