Culver turns in homework

The 2010 Iowa legislature passed a government reorganization bill which had a stipulation in it that Governor Culver was to come up with nearly $84 million in budget cuts by December 1.  (That way the cuts would be in effect for the last half of Fiscal Year 2011, which ends June 30, 2011.)

Culver’s staff today — January 3, 2011 — released the following statement:

Governor Culver Orders Implementation of $83.7 Million in Savings

Efficiencies are part of the $300 million reform and reorganization effort

DES MOINES – The last part of a $300 million reform and reorganization effort for FY 2011 – requiring $83.7 million in savings from the state’s general fund – were ordered by Governor Chet Culver today.

“We are meeting our obligations under HF 2531and believe that making this decision today is appropriate as we begin the last six months of the current fiscal year,” Culver said. “I have asked my senior staff to explain these adjustments to the Branstad Administration Team.

“In order to protect public welfare and safety, we put some funds back into appropriations for the Department of Corrections, Department of Human Services and Department of Safety, as well as several smaller agencies.”

In a written statement, Culver explained the efficiency savings.

“I have ordered the Department of Management to implement the $83.7 million of efficiency savings required by state law in HF 2531.

“These efficiencies have always been part of the budget for FY 2011 as passed by the Legislature and signed into law.  They are not part of any prior across-the-board cut and state agencies have already been anticipating these savings in anticipation of the full implementation of this law.  As required by HF 2531, these adjustments can be made only to a department’s operating or administrative appropriations, not to any program appropriation, and are only in the General Fund.

“We have made an effort to allocate the $83.7 million among state agencies and departments in a serious, targeted, thoughtful manner.   Rather than impose an across-the-board reduction, we have allocated these savings based on each department’s proposed savings under the State Early Retirement Program (SERIP).  In addition, we have identified efficiencies from Executive Order 20 and SF 2088 for such items as consolidation of cell phone contracts, reduced subscriptions, improved centralized purchasing, better vehicle fleet management, negotiation of information technology contracts, and other improvements required in EO 20 and SF 2088.

 “I also have ordered the Department of Management to transfer $5 million from the Cash Reserve Fund, as allowed under Section 28 of HF 2031.

“These overall savings are part of the broad efficiency and reorganization initiative that I proposed late last year.  As a result of SERIP, Executive Orders 20 and 26, and SF 2088, state government will achieve approximately $300 million in efficiencies in all funds in FY 2011, which is higher than projected at the time of SERIP and SF 2088 were signed into law.  I hope that the incoming Administration will build on this record and continue to implement these efficiencies in order to ensure that the approximately $300 million is fully achieved rather than slipping back .”

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About O.Kay Henderson

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