The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Bill to cut dozens of Iowa’s boards and commissions headed to governor

The bill would eliminate almost 67 of the state’s 256 boards and commissions.
Ayrton Breckenridge
A person exits the State Law Library during the first day of the 2024 Iowa legislative session at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024. The Republicans have 64 seats in the house and the Democrats have 36.

Iowa Senate lawmakers approved a bill that would eliminate 67 of Iowa’s 256 boards and commissions, including the state Child Care Advisory Committee and the Iowa Council on Homelessness. 

The bill is part of Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds’ top priorities for this session, however, the governor originally proposed eliminating or condensing more than 100 boards and commissions. 

The bill passed 32-14, with most Republicans in support. Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, joined all Democrats in opposing the bill. 

Republicans were split on the issue much earlier in the session when House State Government Committee chair Rep. Jane Bloomingdale, R-Northwood, cut much less than the current version of the bill. 

Bloomingdale said the house’s original version was imperfect, but was the most conservative of the cuts to the boards and commissions of all the proposals lawmakers considered this year. 

The bill would reestablish the State Government Efficiency Review Committee and direct the committee to re-review Iowa’s Boards and Commissions more delicately after criticism of a rushed review over the interim. 

Following the passage of the Senate’s cuts to Boards and Commissions Reynolds released a statement applauding the Senate vote. 

“Government works for the people, not the other way around,” Reynolds said. “We should be consistently reviewing and improving the quality of services we provide …  Iowa’s boards and commissions have never been comprehensively reviewed and adjusted for effectiveness, only growing in numbers and scope over our state’s history. Today, we reverse that trend.” 

Democrats say the bill cuts too many boards and commissions that do important work. Democrats criticized the bill for turning the state’s Human Rights Commission into an advisory board and cutting many commissions that focus on minority representation and civil rights. 

“I’d still much rather that we take a scalpel to our boards and commissions rather than an axe and let this new review committee work,” Sen. Janice Weiner, D-Iowa City, said. “We should welcome Iowan’s voices as checks and balances. We should welcome their expertise and input — not diminish it.”

Another priority for the governor was the repeal of gender balance on the state’s boards and commissions which she signed into law on April 3

Red Tape review bill heads to governor

Another priority for the governor heads to her desk as lawmakers prepare to wrap up the session. 

Senate lawmakers concurred with a House Amendment on the governor’s proposal to revamp the state’s administrative rule-making process on Friday. 

The bill, Senate File 2370, would require the periodic review of the entirety of Iowa’s administrative rules every five years.

The bill would also require a cost-benefit analysis of every rule and an analysis of whether there are less restrictive ways to write the rule.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Liam Halawith
Liam Halawith, Politics Editor
Liam Halawith is a third-year student at the University of Iowa studying Journalism and Mass Communication and minoring in Public Policy. Before his role as Politics Editor Liam was a politics reporter for the DI. Outside of the DI Liam has interned at the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Southeast Iowa Union. This is his second year working for the DI.
Ayrton Breckenridge
Ayrton Breckenridge, Managing Visuals Editor
Ayrton Breckenridge is the Managing Visuals Editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and cinema. This is his fourth year working for the DI.