(The Center Square) – An Iowa committee on Monday recommended trimming the number of state boards and commissioners from 256 to 145 after a months-long review.
The Boards and Commissioner Review Committee initially recommended the elimination of 118 boards. That number was trimmed to 111 after input from the public on the board’s initial recommendation.
One of the boards saved is the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service after questions arose on whether the state would lose millions in funding for the federal AmeriCorps program.
AmeriCorps volunteers told a local news station the federal government required a commission to decide where the money is allocated.
Board members said AmeriCorps regulations would allow an alternative administrative entity, and the state would still receive the funds. The board agreed to save the commission anyway after public feedback.
Board chairman Kraig Paulsen, director of the state Department of Management, said he thought the process worked well. The committee found contact information and reached out to 98% of the 256 boards, he said. Eighty-five percent responded, and 1,100 Iowans commented to the board.
“As you heard today, the outreach was important, and impacted this final report,” Paulsen said. “This committee listened to Iowans and made changes to its recommendations because of that dialogue.”
The governor and Legislature will receive a report by Sept. 30. The Legislature will make the final decision on the cuts.
“Iowans have 105 days before the start of the 2024 legislative session to engage with their elected leaders,” Paulsen said.
The Iowa Legislature created the board as part of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ massive alignment bill, which also cut the number of cabinet departments from 37 to 16. About 500 unfilled positions were eliminated. The changes are projected to save the state about $214 million over the next four years, the governor previously said.