In her Condition of the State address, the Governor unveiled a proposal to streamline the state government by realigning the structure of state government in order to improve the organization and function of state agencies.
House Study Bill 126 was introduced in the State Government Committee in February. This week, members of the committee have been holding public meetings to discuss the changes proposed in the legislation and to hear from stake holders.
To better serve Iowans and ensure that government is working efficiently for the tax payers, the legislation identifies similar operations and services that are spread out across 37 agencies and aligns these services into 16 agencies. By aligning similar functions and services, taxpayers will have a straightforward process for interacting with the state government without unnecessarily going through several agencies.
The changes include, but are not limited to, the following:
Department of Health & Human Services
The Department of Health and Human Services will be absorbing several agencies and programs that serve related services. Early Childhood Iowa will move from the Department of Management and Volunteer Iowa will move from Iowa Economic Development Authority to DHHS. The Department on Aging and the Department of Human Rights will move their services into respective divisions in the DHHS.
Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licenses
The Department of Inspections and Appeals will be renamed the Department of Inspections, Appeals, and Licensing (DIAL). Currently, the Department protects the health and safety of Iowans through regulatory and licensing functions. This bill will move more licensing and regulatory services under one Department to provide a more efficient service. The licensing and management of 136 professional licenses is currently overseen by 11 state agencies. Under DIAL the majority of those licenses will consolidate under the Licensing Division in DIAL.
Additionally, Division of Labor and the Division of Workers Compensation will move from Iowa Workforce Development and will operate as divisions within DIAL. Administrative Law Judges will also move under DIAL to provide a centralized location for hearing administrative appeals.
Department of Administrative Services
The Department of Administrative Services is responsible for the management and maintenance of buildings and properties owned by the state of Iowa. Under that responsibility, the Historical Division within the Department of Cultural Affairs and the State Library within the Department of Education will be moved to DAS in order to streamline the maintenance and upkeep of these properties.
As the legislative process moves forward the State Government Committee will continue to diligently review the legislation and speak to stakeholders to ensure that government realignment is used as a method to improve the responsiveness and effectiveness of the Government without sacrificing services and accountability.
Rep. Joel Fry
House District 27