Branstad vetoes millions of dollars of state spending

Budget cuts hit REAP hard

MASON CITY, Iowa – Money is going to be tight for one Iowa organization.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad vetoed tens of millions of dollars in spending the legislature had approved and the Resource Enhancement Protection fund, or R.E.A.P, is one of the organizations seeing the toughest cut.

They were set to receive $25 million in state funding, but they will now only get $16 million for the 2014-2015 year.

It came as a shock to many, especially local lawmakers like State Rep. Sharon Steckman who says it even came as a shock to her as well.

“It’s disappointing,” she says, “because, without any of his vetoes we still have a surplus and a reserve of $1.4 billion, so it was totally unnecessary.”

The organization is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, which was the reasoning behind the budget proposal of $25 million, however Steckman says that a loss of this size could be damaging to their overall goal of making outdoor recreational area inviting to Iowa residents.

“R.E.A.P. does tons of wonderful things for the environment, water quality, trails, a lot of the amenities that keep young people in our state,” she says “so this was really a bummer.”

R.E.A.P. was not the only organization that won’t reap the benefits of the state budget.

Branstad also made a $10 million cut to Iowa State University building renovations as well as radon testing at schools across the state.

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