Des Moines, Iowa — Republicans in the Iowa House say the Iowa D-O-T got a significant budget boost when the state gas tax went up a dime-a-gallon last year, and the agency should reallocate money within its budget to pay for negotiated employee pay raises.
Northwest Iowa Representative Dan Huseman, a Republican from Aurelia, says this is a “tough budget year” and other state agencies will have to do that.
Iowa D-O-T officials say without the extra money, up to 400 employees will be laid off, plus some of the state’s Driver’s License stations and D-O-T maintenance garages will have to be closed. Lee Wilkinson, director of the D-O-T’s operations and finance division, isn’t saying which locations might be targeted.
Wilkinson says the D-O-T cannot use any of the additional gas tax revenue to cover salaries, because of legislative action in 2015 that barred the practice.
The House Appropriations Committee met Wednesday night and voted to remove the money for D-O-T salary hikes that Senators had included in a transportation budget bill.