Gov. Reynolds. (RI file photo)

Republicans in the Iowa Senate have scheduled debate today on the governor’s bill to reduce the number of state agencies from 37 to 16 and give Governor Kim Reynolds authority to set the pay for her top administrators.

Among the 16 state departments, the bill creates one new agency — the Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services. “That will bring together the Divisions of Insurance, Banking, Credit Unions,” Reynolds said this morning, “and we believe this change really reflects Iowa’s position of national leadership in these important industries and it promises to continue to elevate the profile, all the while improving the delivery of state services.”

According to the Iowa Economic Development Authority, there are more than 7000 finance and insurance companies in Iowa — and more than 95,000 Iowans work in the industry.

Reynolds touted her government realignment plan this morning during a speech to members of the Iowa Bankers Association.  “You know as a business, I know that you know it’s second nature, right, to reassess your operations,” Reynolds said during brief remarks to the group. “Unfortunately, government isn’t always so diligent.”

There are no layoffs outlined in the bill, but Reynolds says her plan will reduce the number of full time employees by more than 500 as long unfilled positions are eliminated. Critics have been saying the plan shifts too much authority from the legislature to the governor.

Radio Iowa