Legislative leaders yesterday said the shortened 2010 session of the Iowa Legislature succeeded in responsibly balancing the budget without raising taxes while laying the groundwork for Iowa’s economic recovery.

“The lingering national recession has put almost every state budget in the red. In Iowa, that’s not the case. We’ve balanced the budget without increasing taxes on Iowa families. We did it by making tough choices and by reorganizing state government for the first time in 25 years,” said Senate President Jack Kibbie of Emmetsburg. “Those changes will make the dollars we do spend go farther while saving hundreds of millions of dollars over the next five years.”

“Times will be tough in Iowa until the national economy more fully recovers,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Des Moines. “But Iowa is positioned better now than most any other state to recover quicker and stronger because the Legislature kept focused on fiscal responsibility and protecting the key priorities of Iowans.”

“For the first time ever, this Legislature took a hard look at state spending on all tax credits. Our tax credit reform ended some tax credits, suspended others, and cut the state’s overall tax credit liability by $115 million. We increased incentives to help our local small businesses create jobs,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs. “We also expanded support for small businesses to encourage them to create good-paying jobs.”

“We made the cuts we had to make while keeping our commitments to educational opportunity, access to affordable health care, renewable energy, public safety and job creation,” said House Speaker Pat Murphy of Dubuque. “I’m proud of our efforts to make state government leaner and more effective, which allowed us to provide schools with an additional $147 million next year.”