Weekend round up

Jennifer Jacobs of The Des Moines Register conducted a poll — of state agency directors.  She discovered a couple who do not plan to take the 10 percent salary reduction their boss/the governor said they would be taking.  Read her story, with “poll results” listing who those two directors are.

The guests on this weekend’s “Iowa Press” program on Iowa Public Television were House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha and Senate Republican Leader Paul McKinley of Chariton.  Stories featuring comments the two men made after the show’s taping were published on The Quad City Times website and written by Rod Boshart of The Cedar Rapids Gazette; written by Jennifer Jacobs of The Des Moines Register and written by yours truly on Radio Iowa.   At issue, the governor’s authority to transfer money around the executive branch.  The Republicans suggested Culver had wide if not nearly unlimited authority to transfer funds from one agency to another, although both Governors Terry Brasntad and Tom Vilsack were subjected to legal challenges when they used this authority over the objections of legislators and interest groups.

Here’s a little segment of the Code of Iowa that relates to this subject matter; decipher on your own billable hours:

8.39 Use of appropriations – transfer

1. Except as otherwise provided by law, an appropriation or any part of it shall not be used for any other purpose than that for which it was made. However, with the prior written consent and approval of the governor and the director of the department of management, the governing board or head of any state department, institution, or agency may, at any time during the fiscal year, make a whole or partial intradepartmental transfer of its unexpended appropriations for purposes within the scope of such department, institution, or agency.

2. If the appropriation of a department, institution, or agency is insufficient to properly meet the legitimate expenses of the department, institution, or agency, the director, with the approval of the governor, may make an interdepartmental transfer from any other department, institution, or agency of the state having an appropriation in excess of its needs, of sufficient funds to meet that deficiency. An interdepartmental transfer to an appropriation which is not an entitlement appropriation is not authorized when the general assembly is in regular session and, in addition, the sum of interdepartmental transfers in a fiscal year to an appropriation which is not an entitlement appropriation shall not exceed fifty percent of the amount of the appropriation as enacted by the general assembly. For the purposes of this subsection, an entitlement appropriation is a line item appropriation to the state public defender for indigent defense or to the department of human services for foster care, state supplementary assistance, or medical assistance, or for the family investment program.

3. Prior to any transfer of funds pursuant to subsection 1 or 2 of this section or a transfer of an allocation from a subunit of a department which statutorily has independent budgeting authority, the director shall notify the chairpersons of the standing committees on budget of the senate and the house of representatives and the chairpersons of subcommittees of such committees of the proposed transfer. The notice from the director shall include information concerning the amount of the proposed transfer, the departments, institutions or agencies affected by the proposed transfer and the reasons for the proposed transfer. Chairpersons notified shall be given at least two weeks to review and comment on the proposed transfer before the transfer of funds is made.

4. Any transfer made under the provisions of this section shall be reported to the legislative fiscal committee on a monthly basis. The report shall cover each calendar month and shall be due the tenth day of the following month. The report shall contain the following: The amount of each transfer; the date of each transfer; the departments and funds affected; a brief explanation of the reason for the transfer; and such other information as may be required by the committee. A summary of all transfers made under the provisions of this section shall be included in the annual report of the legislative fiscal committee.

Senator McKinley, as you may recall, said in July that he was exploring the idea of running for governor.  Then, in August, McKinley said he would “reevaluate” and likely drop out if former Governor Terry Branstad entered the race.  McKinley has not accepted the Iowa GOP’s invitation to appear at a fundraising finner on November 7, an invitation which potential/announced candidates Jerry Behn, Terry Branstad, Christian Fong, Chris Rants, Rod Roberts and Bob Vander Plaats have accepted. 

Here is a transcript of what McKinley had to say on “Iowa Press” about his candidacy.

McKinley: “Well, I think it is a forgone conclusion that Terry Branstad is running for governor. And I have indicated that when he formally announces that he will be entering the race, I will be withdrawing from the race. Quite frankly, I’ve been concentrating on bringing the republicans back to the majority in the senate, and that’s been the task I’ve been doing. I couldn’t both be the senate leader and run for governor.”

Iowa Press moderator Dean Borg: “If your candidacy depends on whether or not Branstad is in or out, is that saying that you are granting him the nomination?”

McKinley: “No, it doesn’t say that at all.”

Borg: “You assume that he’s the nominee?”

McKinley: “No, it doesn’t say that at all. It merely states that if Terry Branstad gets into the race, that I will reevaluate and withdraw.”

This weekend Electrolux executives confirmed they’ll pull the plug on plants in Webster City & Jefferson, shifting washer and dryer production to a plant in Mexico.  About 850 people work at the plant in Webster City; another 45 work at the Electrolux facility in Jefferson. 

And finally, Iowa State fans see red (after beating “Big Red”) when Governor Culver issues a statement of congratulations on Saturday to the Hawkeyes but not the Cyclones.  You may not know this, but Governor Culver is prone to issue LOTS of written statements of congratulations to sports teams (like the 8-0 Hawkeyes) and to Iowa natives (like the unrelated Zach Johnson and Shawn Johnson) when they win some sporting event.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. […] purposes. He called it a “slush fund.”  Register story is here. Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson has the roundup of other stories on this topic and code citations on the legality of transfers. […]