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A more user-friendly state government

December 4, 2015
By State Senator Steve Sodders - D-State Center , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

I am committed to maintaining a state government that runs efficiently, offers good service to Iowans and is transparent in its operations. This year, we voted to maintain open, transparent government with more support for Iowa's Public Information Board and Office (HF 659) and technology that improves public access to government information (HF 650), including a Searchable Online Budget & Tax Database. These are part of our ongoing efficiency, accountability and transparency initiatives.

A State Government Efficiency Review Committee meets every two years to review Iowa's efforts to improve efficiency, modernize processes, eliminate duplication, reduce costs and increase accountability. The Committee gets input in part from an Improving State Government website, where citizens can submit comments and suggestions for a better Iowa government.

Iowa's easy-to-use State Transparency Website allows citizens, experts and watchdog groups to find information on a variety of expenditures. The site offers datasets, charts, tables, maps and other resources on Iowa's financial, tax and performance data. It even provides information on money recouped by the state when recipients fail to deliver the agreed-upon results, an accountability practice that sets us apart from most other states.

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State Senator Steve Sodders

Many of the fine details of Iowa law are developed by state agencies as rules, which are approved by a bipartisan committee of legislators that meet monthly. A new website at makes it easier for Iowans to follow the rule-making process and offer their input on this key aspect of implementing Iowa law.

Court services are also available on the web. Iowa is the first court system in the nation to have a totally electronic, paperless process for all cases at the district court level. Electronic filing is also available for the Iowa Court of Appeals. Residents, lawyers and law enforcement can file court cases and view court documents online at their convenience. During the statewide rollout of the Electronic Document Management System over the last five years, more than 6.5 million documents have been filed by nearly 88,000 users.



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