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Some Iowa commission members could receive a salary if lawmakers approve

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(The Center Square) – Members of the Iowa Board of Regents, the Council on Health and Human Services, and the Board of Education could receive a $10,000 annual stipend if lawmakers approve a new configuration of the state’s boards and commissions.

On Monday, members of the State Government Efficiency Review Committee heard an overview of the recommendations published by the Boards and Commissions Review Committee in September.

According to the report, only three commissions provide a salary to part-time members. The Transportation Commission offers a $10,000 salary per year, the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission pays $12,000 per year, and members of the Gaming Commission receive $10,000 per year, the recommendations said.

The report also includes reducing the number of boards and commissions from 256 to 145.

“The board’s recommendations are just that,” and the next steps are “up to the state’s elected leadership,” said Kraig Paulsen, director of the Iowa Department of Management and the review committee chair.

Beyond eliminating multiple existing boards and commissions, the committee recommended repealing the gender-balance requirement to “allow the most qualified Iowans to serve on boards and commissions.”

It also called for a modernization of Iowa’s open meetings laws to expand public participation through virtual or hybrid meetings and increasing engagement on “critical” boards and commissions by compensating members for more than “part time” work.

The Iowa Legislature created the review 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.

Lawmakers will take up the recommendations when they meet for the 2024 legislative session on Jan. 8.

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