DES MOINES, Iowa — A bill to limit information available to the Iowa State Auditor’s office has now passed through both chambers of state government. State Auditor Rob Sand believes the bill will have devastating consequences for Iowa if it becomes law.
“It’s the worst perversion of checks and balances in Iowa history,” Sand said during a press conference Thursday. “The entire idea behind checks and balances enshrined in our constitution is that independent bodies of government can check abuses of power by other bodies of government. Period.”
The Iowa House approved the bill 55 to 41 Thursday. If signed by Governor Kim Reynolds, the State Auditor’s office would be unable to acquire several types of documents without approval of the party being audited.
Those documents in question include criminal investigations, student records, hospital and health files, and “personal information.”
Sand sees the bill as an attack on democracy and his office.
“Washington, D.C. has come to Des Moines,” Sand said. “Let’s be clear, this is the destruction of democratic norms continuing in Des Moines. The people of Iowa elected me, and now they’re changing the rules for how this office operates because they didn’t like what I did in my first term.”
Sand also believes lawmakers singled out his office because of his party affiliation.
“The bill is disgusting and partisan,” Sand said. “Some joker in here wants to convince everybody that this somehow does not have anything to do with the fact that I’m the only elected Democrat representing the state of Iowa. I don’t think there’s a single Iowan that doesn’t see through that.”