During this tight budget year, Senate Democrats fought to maintain economic security for Iowa families by standing up for workers and investing in skills training, job creation and the educational opportunities from preschool through college. We hoped to accomplish more, but chose compromise over gridlock. We balanced the state budget in a fiscally responsible way. Iowa is expected to have a budget surplus of more than $75 million when this fiscal year ends on June 30. We also have more than $700 million in our reserve funds, the largest amount in state history; invested in training to help Iowans fill openings for good jobs at local businesses in need of skilled workers; committed to improving Iowa’s infrastructure, economy and job creation through incentives, tax credits, and programs that work with local businesses on technology commercialization, marketing and entrepreneurship; invested in higher education with more money for our state universities, community colleges and grants to help students attend Iowa’s private colleges; encouraged greater student achievement in our K-12 schools through investments in early reading initiatives and quality teaching; and continued our commitment to Iowa’s quality of life with investments in the environment, arts and culture, and recreational opportunities.