Iowa Governor’s office budget to get nearly 22% boost

DES MOINES — Sixty Republicans in the Iowa House have given final legislative approval to a bill outlining state spending for administrative and regulatory agencies. One Republican and 34 Democrats in the House voted against the plan, which provides a nearly 22% increase in the budget for the governor’s office.

“There’s an unprecedented half a million dollars that is completely unearmarked that we are giving to the governor’s office with no answers as to how that money is needed or needs to be spent,” said Representative Megan Srinivas, a Democrat from Des Moines.

A spokesman for Governor Kim Reynolds said the money will be used to recruit and retain staff in the governor’s office. Representative Michael Bergen, a Republican from Dorchester, said the governor and her staff are implementing a major reorganization of state government and the budget for Reynolds’ office is smaller than governor’s offices in states of similar size, like Utah and Kentucky, “so I fully support the governor’s ask and feel that it’s merited,” Bergen said.

Several budget bills were passed in the House and Senate Tuesday, with more on today’s docket.