Thousands going to Branstad-Reynolds transition

DES MOINES - Over $100,000 will be allocated to fund the transition from the Gov. Branstad administration to the new Kim Reynolds administration.

That's what a Senate Appropriations Committee signed off on earlier this week. $150,000 was added to an appropriations bill, with the section labeled as "gubernatorial transition."

According to the governor's office, this is standard practice when an administration transitions out of Iowa. How the money will be used is not outlined in the bill.

"The money is not specifically outlined in the legislation but would include costs incurred during the transition," said Ben Hammes with the governor's team. "This is standard practice. In fact, Gov. Culver's administration provided $170,000 for their transition. If the money is not spent, absolutely the money will be returned to the state."

Democrats are upset the appropriation comes at a time when millions are being cut from major state agencies, including education and Health and Human Services .

"The governor's office has not bothered to discuss with the legislature what the purpose of the money is and it just showed up in the standings bill," said Sen. Matt McCoy (D-Des Moines). "I think we can do without this $150,000. Perhaps Donald Trump can cover the costs of this transition."

Branstad's ambassadorship to China is expected to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate next month.

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