Under the Golden Dome, Too – April 11

Upmeyer UTGD

The warming temperatures, green grass, and longer daylight hours are sure signs that spring has arrived in Iowa. After the long winter, I have no doubt we are all looking forward to getting outdoors and enjoying the state’s great activities and events.

You may be following the recent news coverage regarding the issuance of confidential state personnel settlement agreements. As elected officials, it is our duty to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and when a concern is raised, we address it.

It was great to visit with ISU President Leath and Cy during Iowa State's day at the Capitol!

It was great to visit with ISU President Leath and Cy during Iowa State’s day at the Capitol!

In an effort to ensure taxpayers know all of the details related to state employee settlements, this week, the House passed legislation to provide for increased accountability and openness.

HF 2462 provides greater transparency in state government by forbidding the use of confidentiality/nondisclosure clauses in personnel settlement agreements for public employees.

The bill also expands what is allowed to be disclosed in public employee personnel records, by making public the reason an employee is discharged, demoted, or resigns in lieu of termination. Personnel settlement agreements will be made easily accessible online by requiring Executive branch employee settlements to be available on the Department of Administrative Services’ website.

Recently, I welcomed 6th grade students from Hampton-Dumont School District.  Here I am visiting with the students and their teacher, Kevin Henrichs, outside the House Chamber.

Recently, I welcomed 6th grade students from Hampton-Dumont School District. Here I am visiting with the students and their teacher, Kevin Henrichs, outside the House Chamber.

By preventing the future use of confidential settlement agreements for public employees and providing more transparency, Iowans can be confident their tax dollars are being spent appropriately.

HF 2462 has now been sent to the Senate for their consideration.

The final pieces of the budget are being determined as we continue toward adjournment for the year. As we work through the final days, we will continue to adhere to our core budgeting principles:

  • We will not spend more than we take in;
  • We will not use one-time revenue for ongoing expenses;
  • We will not intentionally underfund promises made to Iowans; and
  • We will return the overpayment of tax dollars to Iowa’s taxpayers.

If you have any feedback or questions about the issues before us, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at linda.upmeyer@legis.iowa.gov or 515-281-4618.

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