During the summer of 2022, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds directed the state’s first comprehensive assessment of government structure and operations in nearly 40 years. After evaluating Iowa against states with similar populations and budgets, leaders across executive branch agencies identified opportunities to align operations, resources, and services in ways that would right-size state government, reduce costs, and better meet the needs of Iowans. 

In the Condition of the State address on January 10, 2023, Governor Reynolds announced her intent to realign state government, making it more efficient and effective. She introduced legislation that proposed cutting the number of cabinet-level departments from 37 to 16 by consolidating agencies with similar functions and centralizing programs that served similar needs. The bill also projected reducing hundreds of unfilled positions and saving the state $214 million over four years. 

After being passed by the Iowa Legislature, Senate File 514 was signed into law on April 4, 2023, and planning began immediately to implement the new structure just three months later on its effective date of July 1, 2023. 

More than 100 state employees from across the executive branch led the implementation process, ensuring that everything from personnel changes to IT system updates occurred as planned without disrupting services.  

Agencies and programs have now been successfully consolidated, and several cabinet departments have updated their organizational structures. Additional changes will continue to occur over time as the implementation process continues. Iowans can expect to receive state services as they normally do during this time.