Iowa governor’s budget transfer was illegal, lawsuit claims

A Democratic lawmaker has filed a lawsuit alleging Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds and a top aide broke the law when they transferred $13 million from a reserve fund to balance the budget.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday against Reynolds and Department of Management director Dave Roederer by Rep. Chris Hall, the ranking member on the House Appropriations committee.

It asks a judge to declare that Reynolds’ proclamation ordering the fund transfer in September was illegal and to void “all actions” taken as a result.

At issue is a $13 million transfer from the State Economic Emergency Fund, which was created to cushion the blow of fiscal downturns on core services. The lawsuit claims that the legal conditions weren’t met to trigger the governor’s transfer authority, an argument Reynolds has dismissed.