The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) held their quarterly meeting on Friday and increased their revenue estimate for FY 2011 from 3.1% to 3.9% .  The increase in the revenue estimate represents a $48.6 million increase in revenues from their previous estimate. Two of the three REC members were very bullish on the strength of Iowa’s economy, citing employment growth estimates at 1.4% for the current year and 1.7% for the next year. Iowa’s strong farm economy and agricultural manufacturing has help Iowa’s economy speed its way to recovery, which hit its recessional bottom during this time last year.

STATEMENT FROM REP. TYLER OLSON, RANKING MEMBER OF APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, ON STATE BUDGET ESTIMATES

“With more Iowans working and a growing state surplus this year, Iowa’s economy is clearly gaining steam.   The new budget projections prove we can balance the state budget without taking a step backward on job creation or developing a highly-skilled workforce.  There is no reason to kick 20,000 kids out of preschool or leave school funding at zero for the next two years with a $1 billion surplus. Democrats will fight to keep the state budget balanced without giving up on Iowa’s middle class.”

The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) is a statutory three person committee to estimate state revenues.  Holly Lyons, is the Legislative Service Agency representative, David Roderer is the Governor’s appointee, and David Underwood, an economist from Mason City, is the third member.