Iowa governor signs repeal of gender balance law

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law Wednesday to end a requirement for state and local government boards and commissions to have an equal number of men and women.

She said it will ensure government boards and commission are effective and serve Iowans well.

“Our focus should always be on appointing the most qualified people,” Reynolds said. “And that includes engaged citizens with a genuine interest in serving their state or local government, as well as individuals with valuable experience that directly relates to that position.”

The gender balance requirement for state boards was passed in the 1980s with the goal of helping women get appointed to decision-making bodies and eventually run for office.

Reynolds proposed repealing the law this year as part of her effort to streamline Iowa’s 256 state boards and commissions. Lawmakers separated the gender balance repeal into its own bill and passed it in late February.

The repeal of the gender balance law is set to take effect July 1.

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