August 29th, 2017 Posted In: News

Governor Reynolds says agency should continue trying to do more with less.
Today, Governor Kim Reynolds was asked about why she is cutting funds from the watchdog agency that monitors nursing homes when a national review just found that serious abuse is going unreported in those facilities.

Her response was to imply that the salaries of the workers, who are on the front lines of protecting our most vulnerable Iowans, are part of the problem, not her cut of nearly half the agency’s funding. Then she went on to say that it was the agency’s responsibility to find better ways to provide the same services without critical funding.

Reynolds also continues to ignore what many independent observers have already concluded, that the budget shortfall and subsequent cuts in Iowa are the direct result of the economic policies she supported.

Those cuts are the problem here. According to a report by the Des Moines Register, the agency Governor Reynolds has so drastically underfunded is already stretched to the limit:

That job [of advocating for residents of nursing homes and assisted-living centers, investigating complaints of abuse and neglect, and providing training for care-facility workers] got tougher after the office’s annual budget, which includes $1.3 million from the state and $400,000 from the federal government, was cut by roughly $500,000 in the fiscal year that began last month.

“It was quite a massive cut,” Clingan-Fischer said. “I made a decision to not lay off people, partly because we were severely understaffed as it was.”

“Once again, Governor Reynolds is trying to pass off the responsibility for solving a problem her own budget cuts created,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price. “We can’t allow her to keep playing these political games, especially when Iowans’ lives might be on the line. Governor Reynolds will not be able to avoid blame for trying, and failing, to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly and disabled.”

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