On a unanimous vote, the Iowa House today approved another piece of the government reorganization initiative that boosts savings so far to $272 million. As the national recession cause a steep decline in state revenues, the reorganization effort was launched last year to help balance the state budget while preserving Iowans’ priorities in education, jobs, and health care.

“The government reorganization effort approved today eliminates waste and saves millions of dollars for Iowa taxpayers. From cost-saving measures to making state government more efficient to improving the services that the state offers, our reorganization efforts so far this year total $272 million and makes our state stronger and more responsive,” said State Representative Mary Mascher of Iowa City, who won approval of the bill.

The goal of Senate File 2088 is to create more accountability for taxpayer dollars and eliminate wasteful spending by consolidating agencies and delivering services to Iowans more efficiently. Last fall, Governor Culver used his executive authority to implement $88 million in cost saving measures and last week he signed an early retirement package for state employees into law that saved an additional $60 million. The massive reorganization plan approved today is estimated to save taxpayers an additional $124 million next year, bringing the total savings from reorganization efforts to $272 million.

The bill is one of the largest initiatives in state history at 350 pages and contains over 50 different ideas, both large and small. It eliminates 14 different boards and commissions, reduces energy costs, combines state purchasing, cuts down on middle management to keep front line workers in their jobs, and consolidates information technology.

The bill now returns to the Senate.