A state panel wants to eliminate 100-plus Iowa boards and commissions. Which could go?

A state panel is recommending eliminating or consolidating more than 100 Iowa boards and commissions, the latest step in Gov. Kim Reynolds’ push to shrink state government.

The preliminary recommendations come from a Tuesday meeting of the state’s Boards and Commissions Review Committee, created as part of a sweeping government reorganization law Reynolds signed in April that reduced cabinet-level state government agencies from 37 to 16.

Kraig Paulsen, the committee’s chair and director of the Iowa Department of Management, said the group started with a list of 256 state boards and commissions and is proposing eliminating or consolidating 116, leaving the state with 140.

When could the changes take place?

After hearing from the public later this month, the committee will submit a report with final recommendations to Reynolds and the Iowa Legislature by Sept. 30. It would then be up to lawmakers to decide whether to act on the proposal.

“No vote we take in here actually changes, modifies, eliminates, creates any boards or commissions anywhere,” Paulsen said. “So this is part of the conversation.”

State Sen. Janice Weiner, D-Iowa City, said she’s concerned there wasn’t an opportunity for the public to weigh in as the committee members came up with their initial recommendations for eliminating boards and commissions.

“I think there’s a line to be drawn between efficiency and not allowing sufficient input from the public and potentially consolidation of power,” she said.

What will happen to the duties of the boards and commissions eliminated?

Committee members said some of the boards or commissions have been defunct for years or haven’t received new funding, while others have to operate in order for the state to receive federal funds.

In most cases, eliminating a board or commission would result in its duties being taken over by the state agency it exists within. Consolidating boards or commissions would fold their duties into other boards and commissions.

Under the committee’s recommendations, the commissions on the Status of African Americans, Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, Deaf Services, Persons with Disabilities, Latino Affairs, Native American Affairs and the Status of Women would all be folded into the Iowa Human Rights Commission.

Could Iowa get rid of gender balance requirement for boards and committees?

One of the committee’s overarching recommendations is to eliminate Iowa’s legal requirement that boards and commissions are balanced with equal numbers of men and women.

“I think that was a law that was put in place and was necessary and helpful in 1986,” Paulsen said. “And maybe it is still necessary and helpful in 2023, but why not have the conversation?”

Some lawmakers, including Sen. Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig, proposed eliminating the gender balance requirement during this year’s legislative session. But the idea did not pass.

Rep. Jane Bloomingdale, R-Northwood, who chairs the House State Government Committee, said the state should strive to have some gender balance but she understands the desire to look at removing the requirement from the law.

“Sometimes that gender balance gets in the way of getting good people on a board,” she said. “I think we do want to strive to have men and women on a board, but when we require it, it can make it difficult for some boards.”

The committee’s other recommendations include creating an ongoing process to review boards and commissions, streamlining the structure of advisory boards, allowing virtual or hybrid participation at board meetings, compensating board members and creating consistent licensing standards across professions.

When will public input sessions be held?

Iowans will have the chance to weigh in at a public hearing next week, where they can share their thoughts about whether certain boards should be kept the same, modified or eliminated.

  • When: 12 p.m., Sept. 6
  • Where: Iowa State Capitol, Room 103, the historic Iowa Supreme Court chamber
  • What: A 2-hour-long public meeting of the Boards and Commissions Review Committee. Speakers will be given 2 minutes each.
  • How to sign up: Iowans interested in speaking should email BCRCcomments@iowa.gov with their name, who they represent (including themselves) and any details about which board or commission they’d like to speak about. If an Iowan has thoughts but does not wish to speak at the hearing, they can still send comments to the same email address.

The committee’s full report is available online.

Here’s a look at the committee’s recommendations.

Boards and commissions that would be eliminated

  • Capitol Planning Commission
  • Board of Athletic Training
  • Boiler and Pressure Vessel Board
  • State Building Code Advisory Council
  • Dental Hygiene Committee
  • Board of Dietetics
  • Elevator Safety Board
  • Fire Extinguishing System Contractors and Alarm Systems Advisory Board
  • Health Facilities Council
  • Board of Hearing Aid Specialists
  • Interior Design Examining Board
  • Midwifery Advisory Council
  • Board of Nursing Home Administrators
  • Board of Pharmacy (alternate members)
  • Conservation Education Program Board
  • Federal Clean Air Act Compliance Advisory Panel
  • Interstate Midwest Energy Commission
  • Iowa Comprehensive Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Fund Board
  • Advisory Council for Public Outdoor Recreation and Resources
  • Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision State Council
  • Criminal Detainers Compact
  • Prison Industries Advisory Board
  • Community College Faculty Advisory Committee
  • Commission on Educator Leadership and Compensation
  • Midwestern Higher Education Compact
  • Postsecondary Course Audit Committee
  • Quality Faculty Plan Professional Development Committee
  • Telecommunications Advisory Committee
  • Streamlined Sales Tax Advisory Council
  • Commercial Air Service Retention and Expansion Committee
  • Horizontal Infrastructure Advisory Subcommittee
  • Mid-America Port Commission
  • Mississippi River Parkway Planning Commission
  • Vertical Infrastructure Advisory Subcommittee
  • Iowa Drug Policy Advisory Council
  • Advisory Committee for Perinatal Guidelines
  • Child Care Advisory Committee
  • Leadership Council for Child Care Training and Development
  • Child Support Services Task Force on Liens and Motor Vehicle Registrations
  • Commission on Community Action Agencies
  • Dependent Adult Protective Advisory Council
  • Early Childhood Stakeholders Alliance
  • Interagency Coordinating Council
  • Mental Health and Disability Services Standards Advisory Committee, Community Mental Health Centers
  • Mental Health and Disability Services Standards Advisory Committee, County Care Facilities
  • Propane Education and Research Council
  • Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service
  • 911 Communications Council
  • Iowa Cultural Trust Board of Trustees
  • Iowa Great Places Board
  • Iowa Innovation Corporation Board
  • Iowa Council on Homelessness
  • Consumer Advisory Panel
  • Commercial Pesticide Applicator Peer Review Panel
  • Farm Deer Council
  • Grain Industry Peer Review Panel
  • Local Food and Farm Program Council
  • Organic Advisory Council
  • Private Pesticide Applicator Peer Review Panel
  • Watershed Planning Advisory Council
  • Well Contractors’ Council
  • Public Funds Interest Rates Committee
  • Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Board
  • Public Policy Research Foundation
  • Commission on Uniform State Laws
  • Board of Examiners of Shorthand Reporters
  • Area Education Agency Advisory Group
  • Street Construction Fund Distribution Advisory Committee
  • Interstate Cooperation Commission

Boards and commissions that would be consolidated

  • State Historical Records Advisory Board
  • Board of Behavioral Science
  • State Building Code Board of Review
  • Board of Chiropractic
  • Electrical Examining Board
  • Landscape Architectural Examining Board
  • Board of Massage Therapy
  • Board of Medicine (alternate members)
  • Board of Physical and Occupational Therapy
  • Board of Physician Assistants
  • Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board
  • Board of Podiatry
  • Board of Psychology
  • Board of Respiratory Care and Polysomnography
  • Board of Social Work
  • Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology
  • Farmer Advisory Committee
  • State Advisory Board for Preserves
  • Community College Council
  • Nonpublic School Advisory Committee
  • Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management Technical Advisory Committee
  • Secondary Road Fund Distribution Committee
  • Tourist Signing Committee
  • Commission on the Status of African Americans
  • Commission on Aging
  • Commission of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs
  • Advisory Council on Brain Injuries
  • Iowa Child Death Review Team
  • Child Fatality Review Committee
  • Children’s Behavioral Health System State Board
  • Congenital and Inherited Disorders Advisory Committee
  • Commission of Deaf Services
  • Commission of Persons With Disabilities
  • Iowa Domestic Abuse Death Review Team
  • Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council
  • Family Development and Self-Sufficiency Council
  • Healthy and Well Kids In Iowa (HAWK-I) Advisory Committee
  • Healthy and Well Kids In Iowa (HAWK-I) Board
  • Justice Advisory Board
  • Latino Affairs Commission
  • Mental Health and Disability Services Commission
  • Commission of Native American Affairs
  • Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Advisory Council
  • Commission on Tobacco Use Prevention and Control
  • Trauma System Advisory Council
  • Commission on the Status of Women
  • State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council
  • Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development Council
  • Enhance Iowa Board
  • Local Workforce Development Boards
  • Employment Appeal Board
  • Public Employment Relations Board

Boards and commissions that would be reorganized or see other changes

  • State Historical Society of Iowa Board of Trustees
  • Accountancy Examining Board
  • Architectural Examining Board
  • Iowa State Civil Rights Commission
  • Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact Commission
  • Board of Dentistry
  • Engineering and Land Surveying Examining Board
  • Board of Medicine
  • Board of Mortuary Science
  • Board of Nursing
  • Board of Optometry
  • Board of Pharmacy
  • Prescription Monitoring Program Advisory Council
  • Real Estate Appraiser Examining Board
  • Real Estate Commission
  • Board of Sign Language Interpreters and Transliterators
  • Environmental Protection Commission
  • Natural Resource Commission
  • Board of Corrections
  • Advisory Council for Agricultural Education
  • Iowa Autism Council
  • Child Development Coordinating Council
  • College Student Aid Commission
  • State Board of Education
  • Commission of Libraries
  • Iowa Public Broadcasting Board
  • City Finance Committee
  • County Finance Committee
  • Alcoholic Beverages Commission
  • Iowa Lottery Authority Board of Directors
  • Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board
  • State Fire Service and Emergency Response Council
  • Commission of Veterans Affairs
  • Council on Health and Human Services
  • Human Rights Board
  • Economic Development Authority Board
  • Iowa Innovation Council
  • Technology Commercialization Committee
  • Iowa Workforce Development Board
  • Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission
  • Benefits Advisory Committee
  • Utilities Board
  • Crime Victim Assistance Board
  • State Soil Conservation and Water Quality Committee
  • Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine
  • Higher Education Loan Authority
  • Dual Party Relay Council

Boards and commissions that would continue unchanged

  • State Records Commission
  • Terrace Hill Commission
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Compact
  • Board of Barbering and Cosmetology Arts and Sciences
  • Interstate Commission of Nurse Licensure Compact Administrators
  • State Racing and Gaming Commission
  • State Banking Council
  • Credit Union Review Board
  • Iowa Comprehensive Health Insurance Association Board
  • Midwest Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission
  • Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision
  • Department of Corrections Judicial District Advisory Board
  • Ad Hoc Accreditation Quality Faculty Plan Protocol Committee
  • State Board for Career and Technical Education
  • Iowa Dyslexia Board
  • Education Commissions of the States
  • State Board of Educational Examiners
  • Council on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
  • Interstate Commission on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
  • School Budget Review Committee
  • State Appeal Board
  • Customer Council for Services
  • Revenue Estimating Conference
  • Utility Replacement Tax Task Force
  • Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement Governing Board
  • Farm to Market Advisory Board
  • Transportation Commission
  • Armory Board
  • Board of Trustees of the Iowa Department of Public Safety Peace Officers’ Retirement, Accident, and Disability System
  • Child Advocacy Board
  • Early Childhood Iowa State Board
  • State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision
  • Interstate Commission for Juveniles
  • Medical Assistance Advisory Council
  • Iowa Medical Assistance Drug Utilization Review Commission
  • Medical Assistance Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee
  • Medical Cannabidiol Board
  • Physical Therapy Compact Commission
  • Flood Mitigation Board
  • Iowa Arts Council
  • Bioscience Development Corporation Board
  • Brownfield Redevelopment Advisory Council
  • Iowa Capital Investment Board
  • City Development Board
  • Iowa Energy Center Governing Board
  • Iowa Wine and Beer Promotion Board
  • Agricultural Development Board
  • Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors
  • Iowa Title Guaranty Board
  • Iowa Apprenticeship Council
  • Commission for the Blind
  • Board of Parole
  • Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board
  • Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council
  • Investment Board of the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System
  • Iowa Public Information Board
  • Property Assessment Appeal Board
  • Prosecuting Attorneys Training Coordination Council
  • Iowa Beef Cattle Producers Association Executive Committee
  • Iowa Corn Promotion Board
  • Iowa Crop Improvement Association Board
  • Iowa State Dairy Association
  • Iowa Dairy Industry Commission
  • Iowa Egg Council
  • Iowa Grain Indemnity Fund Board
  • State Horticultural Society
  • Livestock Health Advisory Council
  • Pesticide Advisory Committee
  • Iowa Pork Producers Council
  • Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Board
  • Iowa Sheep and Wool Promotion Board
  • Iowa Soybean Association Board
  • Iowa Turkey Marketing Council
  • Water Resources Coordinating Council
  • Voter Registration Commission
  • Board of Examiners for Voting Systems
  • State Board of Regents
  • Executive Council
  • Iowa State Fair Board
  • Tobacco Settlement Authority Board
  • State Judicial Nominating Commission
  • District Judicial Nominating Commissions
  • Commission on Judicial Qualifications
  • Board of Law Examiners
  • Magistrate Appointing Commission
  • Statewide Fire and Police Retirement System Board of Trustees
  • Statewide Independent Living Council
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Advisory Council

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