On Tuesday the Senate considered the proposal put forward by Governor Kim Reynolds to streamline state government, reorganize her team in the executive branch, and work to increase efficiency for Iowans. The bill, which is over 1,500 pages long, has had a lot of work put into it, both by the governor’s office and by the Senate. After 8 hours of subcommittee and committee review, the bill was brought forward to the Senate for discussion.
Senate File 514 represents the first comprehensive review of government and how the governor’s office manages its own departments in almost 40 years and accomplishes a number of goals we have as advocates for smaller, better government. It also brings us more in line with other states and looks at ways we can improve services, modernize government, and bring departments with similar objectives together.
Iowa currently has 37 cabinet departments. This bill reduces that number to 16 cabinet department, eliminates 513 currently unfilled positions, saves Iowans money, and consolidates technology and departments to improve operations. All of the states in the Midwest have fewer cabinet departments than Iowa and spend less per capita on state government than Iowa. States with comparable population and spending, like Oklahoma and Mississippi, have fewer cabinet departments and spend less per capita.
A lot has changed in our state and in the world over the last 40 years. Huge strides in technology have been made, the needs of Iowans have changed, and the service government provides should change too. Senate File 514 looks at how our government has worked, what Iowans need, and makes necessary changes to bring departments together, work together, and use the technology we have available to us to be more efficient.