- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is defending the Iowa Utilities Board’s plan to renovate its six-year-old building despite budget cuts across state government.

Branstad said Tuesday that money for remodeling the interior of the IUB building is not part of the state budget that goes into effect in July. He added it’s too late to rescind funding now because the legislative session is over.

The board is using $330,000 left over from its 2016 budget and a $250,000 appropriation that lawmakers approved last year to fund the project, which is expected to cost $464,000. The renovations to its customer service area include new walls and doors and a 75-inch Samsung television.

The upcoming $7.2 billion budget cuts everything from crime victims’ services to childhood obesity prevention. Several agencies also received mid-year cuts.

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