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Local Lawmaker says Streamlining May Not Have All the Answers

Posted: Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 at 6:27 am
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Members of the majority party in both the Iowa House and Senate have indicated that before lawmakers begin breaking down the 2011 State budget, they would like to address a proposed streamlining of state government. Representative Jim Van Engelenhoven of Pella says while streamlining sounds like a great way to save money, there can also be some negative effects.

“Streamlining government means that you have to make it more efficient, and in some cases, there will be some job positions lost or people will have to take a different position in government,” said Van Engelenhoven.

Van Engelenhoven is a Republican representing District 71 in the Iowa House, which includes the majority of Marion County as well as the Monroe area. He says an example of efficiency that he has shared with fellow lawmakers was something that he previously observed in his district.

“When we met with the Marion and Mahaska County Soil Commissioners, we had an individual from the [Iowa] Department of Agriculture there, and he explained to us how he managed 150 people out in the field – one individual managing 150 people,” said Van Engelenhoven. “When we get to investigating some of these other agencies within state government, we’re down to one manager for two employees – not very efficient.”

Backers of the proposal have suggested that streamlining state government could save well over $100 million, but Van Engelenhoven states that the actual dollar amount could be significantly lower.