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Iowa Politics Roundup: State Layoff Plans Released PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 06 November 2009 16:28

Preliminary plans to lay off 792 Iowa state employees show that while some would be laid off in November and December, the bulk would be laid off in early January.

Layoffs have been proposed by 15 of the 36 state agencies as an element of their plan to implement a 10-percent across-the-board budget cut ordered by Governor Chet Culver in October.

The bulk of layoffs would occur in the Department of Corrections under a plan not yet approved by Culver. An initial plan called for 515 layoffs in corrections. The latest plan shows 377 layoffs would occur on Janurary 1, 4, or 7.

Iowa Politics Roundup: Governor Approves Most Budget-Cut Plans PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 30 October 2009 15:28

Governor Chet Culver this week approved plans by 34 state agencies to cut $520 million, lay off 180 workers, and eliminate 229 vacant positions.

Culver also announced that he has asked the three labor unions for state workers to reopen contract talks in an effort to prevent the layoffs of 571 people in corrections and 54 in public safety.

Culver has withheld approving budget-cutting plans for corrections and public safety until he hears back from the unions, who have until November 6 to let Culver know if they will agree to re-open their contracts.

Corrections Hit Hard by Proposed Layoffs PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 23 October 2009 18:54

Two-thirds of proposed state-worker layoffs spurred by a 10-percent, $565-million across-the-board budget cut would be in the Iowa Department of Corrections, but Governor Chet Culver -- who gets the final say on the cuts -- said he wants to mitigate that before the plans become final.

"I disagree with some recommendations that cut services to children and vulnerable adults, as well as in areas of public safety," Culver said. "These cuts have a very disproportionate impact on public safety, an area I vowed to protect. ... I want to find a way to mitigate that situation."

The leader of Iowa's largest union for state workers declined immediate comment on the proposed layoffs, saying that AFSCME Iowa Council 61 is still reviewing the plans released by the governor's office.

"We want to reiterate our expectation that going forward, the state of Iowa should treat this current situation the same as it would a major plant closing, and provide all appropriate support to workers who are being laid off that is available to them," said Danny Homan, president of AFSCME Iowa Council 61.

Iowa Politics Roundup: Branstad Breaks Silence About 2010 Run for Governor PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 16 October 2009 15:40

Former Republican Governor Terry Branstad broke his silence Friday about his 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

After months of speculation, Branstad used a Friday press conference to announce his retirement from Des Moines University, where he served as president for six years.

During that press conference, Branstad also announced his intent to fully explore a run for governor next year. He said he was "very touched and humbled" by the thousands who have asked him to run.

Earlier in the week, the 16-year governor hired top GOP strategist Jeff Boeyink as his campaign manager. The week before that announcement, Branstad formed an exploratory committee for governor.

"We're going to move fast," Boeyink said in an interview. "My job is to build the infrastructure and campaign to make his decision easy. ... It will happen very quickly now that we've moved from a volunteer organization, to secure a professional staff. We will be ramping up our efforts."

Iowa Politics Roundup: State Braces for 10-Percent Budget Cut PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 09 October 2009 15:01

Governor Chet Culver said Thursday that hundreds of Iowa state workers will be laid off, some government programs may be eliminated, and services to even the most vulnerable of Iowans will be affected as a result of the 10-percent across-the-board cut he ordered a day after state revenue estimates were lowered $414.9 million for the current budget year.

"We are preparing for some of the toughest times this union has ever seen," said Danny Homan, president of AFSCME Iowa Council 61, which represents approximately 20,000 state workers. "A 10-percent across-the-board cut will be devastating to state workers and the people they serve, no matter how necessary that cut is."

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