On Thursday, February 26, House Republicans offered amendment H-1086 to House File 414, the FY 2009 deappropriations and supplemental spending bill.
Amendment H-1086 would simply require the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to stop purchasing new vehicles for the state vehicle fleet for the remainder of FY 2009 (which ends on June 30, 2009) and all of FY 2010.
Iowa has 2,956 cars and trucks and on average the state sells off and replaces about 600 of them every year. DAS estimates that it spends $18 million in annual maintenance and other expenses to operate the fleet, which is valued at $17.6 million.
These vehicles are not state patrol cars or DOT road maintenance vehicles – those belong to separate fleets and we did not propose changing the way those fleets are operated.
The DAS fleet is only vehicles for state government bureaucrats. Obviously, state government employees need to travel. However, maintaining a state vehicle fleet is a very inefficient way to accomplish that objective when other options such as mileage reimbursement or package deals from rental car companies are available.
Unfortunately the amendment was voted down along party lines. Had the amendment been approved, the state’s general fund would have saved between $9 million and $12 million over the next 16 months.
You can view the vote details here: House Journal Page 599