Two Democratic State Lawmakers Want Investigation Into Test Iowa Program

Iowa State Capitol

Iowa State Capitol

DES MOINES, Iowa - Two Democratic lawmakers are requesting an investigation into the state's Test Iowa program

Representatives Ruth Ann Gaines and Chris Hall say taxpayers are on the hook for $26 million after Test Iowa failed to meet the goals set by Governor Reynolds.

The lawmakers sent a letter to the chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee, Republican Representative Mary Ann Hanusa, asking for the investigation.

In it, they cite documented problems with the Test Iowa program, which the state implemented to assist with its COVID-19 testing.

Gaines and Hall say the problems include the no-bid contract awarded to an out of state company with little experience and daily testing numbers that fall short of the 3,000 promised. The lawmakers also object to what they say are the number of tests being secret, long wait times, faulty equipment, damaged tests, lack of access to tests and hastily closed testing sites.

Governor Reynolds awarded two Utah companies a $26 million contract to operate Test Iowa. Some county and city elected officials in Iowa have been critical of the program.

Gaines and Hall say they'll continue a probe if the House committee does not conduct an investigation. "If the Government Oversight Committee is unwilling to do its job, House Democrats will seek to review the contract and its implementation during the appropriations process," the letter says in part .

The lawmakers are requesting that a number of people appear before the Government Oversight Committee, including Department of Public Health Deputy Director Sarah Reisetter and Paul Trombino, the governor’s chief operations officer.

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