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Surplus Solution

A few weeks ago, I asked my constituents what (if anything) should be done with the state’s surplus (which is actually an overpayment by the taxpayers) dollars).  The number one answer was: save it!

It looks like that is going to happen for the most part. There is currently a little over $800 million of surplus. Republicans and Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee made an agreement to use about $260 million.

  • The best part of this agreement is that $114 million of the surplus will be used to pay off state debts. Examples of these debts are bonds that were issued to finance construction of a state prison and the I-JOBS program. Also, there is $40 million in outstanding bond debt on the Honey Creek State Park – if we pay this debt off early, the state will save $2 million.
  • Another $31.5 million of the surplus money will be used for construction projects at the state universities.
  • $110 million will be used to shore up state pension funds.

The agreement as to how to use some of the surplus money is rooted in the philosophy that we cannot use one time money to fund ongoing expenses. There have been numerous ideas tossed around as to how to spend surplus money but many of these ideas are not one time expenses.

Surplus money is one time money and should not be used to fund on going expenses.


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