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Reynolds close to filling vacancies so public health board can operate

DES MOINES — Republican Governor Kim Reynolds says she’s filling openings on the state Board of Public Health so it can conduct business this fall.

“We’re really close,” Reynolds told reporters Wednesday morning. “I think if not, we are at a quorum right now.”

When the terms of several board members expired at the end of June, it left just four members on the 11-person board. The panel’s July 14 meeting had to be cancelled. Iowa House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst and other Democrats say that’s unacceptable.

“It doesn’t seem to me that it’s too heavy of a lift to ask our governor to fill vacant positions on a public health board in the middle of a global pandemic,” Konfrst said.

The governor told reporters the board was able to conduct business in meetings every other month throughout the pandemic and had its last business meeting in May.

“They decided not to meet in June,” Reynolds said. “They knew that they would have appointments that would be expiring the end of June, so if they felt that need to meet, they could have done that.”

The board is now scheduled to meet in early September, 119 days after its last meeting in May. The panel’s members have the power to propose and repeal state regulations and to advise the governor on health related topics. Last fall, the group passed a resolution urging Reynolds to adopt a statewide mask mandate.



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