Executive Order 20: Governor says will save Iowans $140 Million next year, $500 million over 5 years

On December 17, the Governor issued Executive Order #20, which contained 39 proposals to reduce or eliminate spending. The Governor claims that the EO will save the taxpayers $140 million in FY 2011 and over $500 million from FY 2011 to FY 2015.

Some of the ideas were offered by Republicans last year but were voted down by Democrats.

Some of the ideas were offered by Republicans last year but were voted down by Democrats. Those ideas included consolidation of information technology systems, reducing the fleet, limiting equipment purchases and service contracts. Some are not reductions in the budget but rather revenue increases, like the vague “improve the state’s debt collection” and “improve collection processes for unemployment taxes”. Other items are transfers of funds from one area of the budget to another – for instance, “Encourage larger state agencies to support budget, accounting and pre-audit services for smaller state agencies.”

Here are all 39 cost-saving or revenue-increasing ideas:

  1. Consolidate information technology planning and operations to the extent reasonably possible.
  2. Consolidate all state e-mail systems.
  3. Consolidate wireless equipment purchasing and service contracts.
  4. Negotiate statewide IT service contract.
  5. Negotiate statewide IT and office equipment maintenance contracts.
  6. Increase the use of new technologies such as thin client technologies.
  7. Reduce the size of the state vehicle fleet and change mileage and take-home policies.
  8. Consolidate Department of Natural Resources offices in Des Moines.
  9. Require state agency purchasing from master contracts.
  10. Improve the state’s debt collection practices.
  11. Join multistate lawsuit seeking reversion of unclaimed U.S. bonds to the state.
  12. Strengthen Medicaid accountability efforts.
  13. Ensure that Iowa is getting the best purchase prices for required Medicaid medical equipment.
  14. Modify the Medicaid durable medical equipment rental vs. purchase policies.
  15. Update nursing home recoverable cost regulations to assure that the state’s financial interests are fully protected.
  16. Claim federal reimbursement for eligible inmate hospital care.
  17. Modify Medicaid prescription drug purchasing.
  18. Reinstate the use of telemedicine services between the Department of Corrections and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
  19. Modify child support and recovery funding.
  20. Increase the juvenile court services’ claims for federal reimbursement.
  21. Claim federal reimbursements for eligible placements and license all relative homes.
  22. Eliminate the least efficient state print shops.
  23. Consolidate administrative functions at DHS institutions.
  24. Modify and simplify the way the Department of Administrative Services charges for certain services.
  25. Modify warehouse policies to take advantage of the newest techniques to reduce costs.
  26. Consolidate state agency mailrooms and modify mail delivery policies.
  27. Reduce spending on periodicals and subscriptions.
  28. Reduce architecture, engineering and attorney contracts when cost-benefit ratios indicate that the state can perform the work at reduced costs.
  29. Require state employees to pay for safety courses when they are required to take them because of driving violations.
  30. Reduce the number of Human Resource staff members in agencies and departments.
  31. Expand the use of state garages to reduce the costs of contracted private garages.
  32. Conduct energy efficiency retrofits for state buildings.
  33. Require newly hired state employees to use payroll direct deposit.
  34. Conduct an audit of state employee health insurance enrollees to identify ineligible dependents.
  35. Improve the coordination of law enforcement at state parks.
  36. Increase the number of volunteer and intern programs at state parks.
  37. Accelerate assessments for compliance violations under Iowa’s Workers’ Compensation Law.
  38. Improve collection processes for unemployment taxes.
  39. Encourage larger state agencies to support budget, accounting and pre-audit services for smaller state agencies.

The Governor will also submit to the Legislature another list of efficiency savings and revenue increases that will require legislative approval. He says these savings will amount to $200 million next year and nearly $1 billion over five years. One of the proposals; shifting the funding of the state troopers to the Road Use Tax Fund has already run into stiff opposition by members of both parties.

House Republicans will support the ideas that streamline state government and make it more efficient. House Republicans will oppose ideas that grow government. It is good that the Governor is finally realizing that at least some of the ideas offered by House Republicans last session had merit. Hopefully the Legislative Democrats will come to that realization as well.