- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 8, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lawmakers in the Iowa House have again adopted an amendment to a budget bill to prevent appropriated money from being used for payments on confidential settlement agreements.

When debating the transportation appropriation bill Tuesday, the House passed the amendment, 96-0. A similar amendment was adopted last week when lawmakers debated a budget bill for agriculture and natural resources.

Such amendments come in response to the revelation of secret settlement agreements between state agencies and fired employees, where several employees claim they were paid off using department funds to keep quiet about the agreements.

Iowa’s Department of Transportation was not among the 10 agencies that participated in these payments to former employees, but the department did approve confidentiality clauses in two settlement agreements.