DES MOINES – Claiming a mandate to clean up a budget mess he inherited, Gov. Terry Branstad Tuesday vetoed a pair of bills, including one giving him authority to pay nearly $20 million the state owes attorneys representing indigent clients.
Branstad also vetoed House File 512, the transportation budget, demanding the Legislature send him a two-year budget to end bad budgeting practices “that were sending shockwaves” throughout the state in recent years due to revenue fluctuations that triggered mid-year funding adjustments and a 10 percent across-the-board cut in October 2009.
“I wanted to make it clear by vetoing the very first appropriation bill that we are dead serious about doing a biennial budget,” Branstad said. “We want to restore stability and predictability and we want sustainability for the long-term. That’s the mission I came to accomplish and I intend to see it through.”
Branstad campaigned on a two-year budget and said his election gives him a mandate to insist lawmakers look ahead more than one year when putting together a spending plan for the state.
Lawmakers were not surprised by the vetoes, but were uncertain how it would affect budget negotiations.