The Justice Systems Budget Bill, House File 2450, provides funding for a variety of state agencies that are involved in protecting Iowans. These agencies include the Board of Parole, Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, the Department of Corrections, and the Department of Public Safety. Overall, the bill appropriates a total of $554 million for fiscal year 2015, which is a $7 million increase. However, what’s not funded is just as important as what did receive funding.
The Department of Public Safety receives a $5 million increase for State Troopers, which will not only cover any salary adjustment needs, but it will also allow for between 30 and 33 new troopers to be hired. In contrast, the Department of Corrections receives an increase of $1 million, which will not be enough to cover any salary adjustments for correctional officers, let alone hire an adequate amount of correctional officers to address the unsafe staffing conditions in prisons.
House File 2450 is now in the Senate where it must be passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee before being voted on by the full Senate.