Office of the Governor of Iowa

Governor Branstad

Homan lawsuit decision risks closure of all Workforce Development Offices; 200+ layoffs now possible; Court’s decision does not erode the scope of the Governor’s item veto power under the Constitution

March 16, 2012

(DES MOINES) – The Branstad-Reynolds administration today responded to the Iowa Supreme Court decision in Homan vs. Branstad.

“We disagree with the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling from a legal and policy perspective, but we respect their decision and will abide by it,” said Branstad attorney Dick Sapp. “We are pleased the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision did not erode the scope of the governor’s item-veto power under the Constitution to control spending and serve Iowans who need jobs.”

Gov. Branstad’s program for Iowa Workforce Development has proven to be enormously successful. Gov. Branstad’s actions have led to:

• Expanded hours, making Iowa’s workforce development services available in the evenings and on Saturdays, which was previously not available;
• The Virtual Access Sites have increased the services offered to unemployed Iowans searching for work in Iowa;
• Multiple Workforce Development sites now exist in all 99 counties, providing rural Iowans with convenient access that did not previously exist;
• Nearly 100,000 services have been used since the launch of the governor’s Virtual Access Points;
• Iowa Workforce Development is adding 10-20 new sites all across Iowa every week, and currently has 641 sites with more than 2,000 desktops;
• Iowa’s unemployment rate continues to edge lower, and now stands at 5.4% in January, nearly three percentage points lower than the national 8.3% average.

Now, as a result of Danny Homan’s lawsuit, there is no funding to keep open these vital services for Iowa’s unemployed following this decision.

The irony of today’s Supreme Court decision is that it strikes down a number of appropriations within the Workforce Development department – including funding for all Workforce Development offices, the workers compensation division, the labor division, and the unemployment reserve fund.

“What started as an attempt by Danny Homan to prevent the implementation of a new, streamlined service delivery system that has proven to serve Iowans even better has now, as a result of Homan’s lawsuit, put at risk all of the services our state provides to unemployed Iowans and hundreds of state workers’ jobs,” said the governor’s spokesman, Tim Albrecht.

“The governor is very concerned that these services would no longer be available to those Iowans who need it most,” said Albrecht. “Our unemployment rate is going down as a result our successful workforce efforts – Danny Homan’s lawsuit would increase the unemployment rate and put more Iowans out of work. The governor will continue working for Iowa’s unemployed and workers, and will work diligently to deal with the aftermath of Danny Homan’s reckless lawsuit.”

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