Reynolds Signs State Government ‘Realignment’ Bill Into Law

(Radio Iowa) Governor Kim Reynolds has signed a bill into law that will consolidate 37 state agencies into just 16 departments and eliminate dozens of unfilled positions in state government.

“Not only will Iowans receive better service with alignment, but they’ll also get it at a lower cost,” Reynolds said. The governor paid a consultant nearly a million dollars to draft the reorganization plan.

“Iowa had significantly more cabinet departments than neighboring states and best practices, services were spread unpredictably across state government, really causing just unnecessary friction for Iowans,” Reynolds says. “What we also saw was just fractured organizational structure that was preventing capable, hardworking public servants from really reaching their full potential.” The non-partisan Legislative Services Agency projects the plan will eliminate about 200 full-time positions in state government that aren’t filled today and save about 12-and-a-half million dollars a year. The governor’s staff estimates the state will save about 215 million dollars over four years. Reynolds says efficiency is the main goal, making state government agencies, programs and licensing easier to navigate.

“If we save anything and streamline services and have a single mom or single dad trying to get services not have to go through 14 different doors to try to get an answer, then that’s a win for me,” Reynolds told reporters. The governor expects most if not all the changes to be in place when the next state fiscal year begins July 1st.

“I’m not saying there won’t be bumps. I mean this is a huge undertaking, but we’re going to do it right,” Reynolds says. “…If we need to slow down any of the alignments…we’ll do that.” The 16 state agency directors and Republican lawmakers gathered in the governor’s office at the statehouse for the bill signing ceremony on Tuesday afternoon. Democratic leaders in the House and Senate say the plan dilutes the legislature’s authority and is a “power grab” by the governor. And House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst says the bill was authored by out-of-state consultants without real input from Iowans.