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Full text of "Branstadsupremecourtruling"

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF IOWA 

No. 11-2022 
March 16, 2012 

DANNY HOMAN, WILLIAM A. DOTZLER, JR., BRUCE HUNTER, DAVID 
JACOBY, KIRSTEN RUNNING-MARQUARDT, and DARYL BEALL, 

Appellees, 

vs. 

TERRY E. BRANSTAD, Governor of the State of Iowa, 
Appellant. 



Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Bradley 
McCall, Judge. 

The parties appeal the district court's summary judgment ruling 
on the constitutionality of certain item vetoes exercised by the Governor 
on an appropriations bill. SUMMARY JUDGMENT AFFIRMED IN PART 
AND REVERSED IN PART; CASE REMANDED. 

Richard J. Sapp and Ryan G. Koopmans of Nyemaster, Goode, 
West, Hansell & O'Brien, P.C., Des Moines, for appellant. 

Mark T. Hedberg, Nathaniel R. Boulton, and Erin G. Benoy of 
Hedberg & Boulton, P.C., for appellees. 




2 

WATERMAN, Justice. 

This appeal requires our court to resolve another dispute between 
the executive and legislative branches of our state government over the 
scope of the Governor's item veto power, 1 On July 27, 2011, Governor 
Terry E. Branstad item vetoed several provisions in Senate File 517, an 
appropriations bill passed in the final days of the Eighty-fourth General 
Assembly. Primarily at issue is $8.66 million the legislature 
appropriated in section 15(3) for the operation of Iowa Workforce 
Development (IWD) field offices. The Governor, without vetoing that 
appropriation, item vetoed section 15(3)(c), prohibiting the closure of field 
offices, and section 15(5), defining "field office" to require the presence of 
a staff person. His accompanying item-veto message noted his purpose 
was to provide "enhanced benefits through maximum efficiencies" by 
replacing staffed field offices with numerous additional "virtual access 
point [computer] workstations" for the delivery of employment services to 
Iowans throughout our state. The Governor also item vetoed section 20, 
which restricts IWD from spending any appropriated funds on the . 
National Career Readiness Certificate Program, without item vetoing any 
of the several appropriations to IWD in Senate File 517. And, the 
Governor item vetoed similar provisions in the bill for the following fiscal 
year. 

We must decide whether the Governor's item vetoes comply with 
article III, section 16 of our state constitution, the item-veto amendment 
ratified by the people of Iowa in 1968. Plaintiffs, Danny Homan, the 

J Our court previously decided the constitutionality of particular item vetoes in 
Rants v. Vilsack, 684 N.W.2d 193 (Iowa 2004); Welsh v. Branstad, 470 N.W.2d 644 
(Iowa 1991); Junkins v. Branstad, 448 N.W.2d 480 (Iowa 1989); Cotton v. Branstad, 372 
N.W.2d 184 (Iowa 1985); Rush v. Ray, 362 N.W.2d 479 (Iowa 1985); Welden v. Ray, 229 
N.W.2d 706 (Iowa 1975); and State ex rel Turner v. Iowa State Highway Comm'n, 186 
N.W.2d 141 (Iowa 1971), abrogated in part by Rants, 684 N.W.2d at 210. 



3 

president of Iowa Council 6 1 of the American Federation of State County 
and Municipal Employees, a state-employee union, and William A. 
Dotzler, Jr., Bruce Hunter, David Jacoby, Kirsten Running-Marquardt, 
and Daryl Beall, legislators in the Eighty-fourth General Assembly, filed 
this action in district court alleging the Governor unconstitutionally item 
vetoed "conditions or restrictions" on the appropriations. On 
December 8, the district court entered a split decision that upheld the 
item veto of section 20, but declared invalid the item veto of sections 
15(3)(c) and 15(5). Both sides appealed, and we granted expedited 
review. 

This is not an easy case. The legislature failed to use language in 
section 15(3) expressly conditioning the $8.66 million appropriation on 
the restrictions against closing staffed field offices. Nonetheless, we 
conclude the definition of "field office" in section 15(5) qualifies or 
restricts the $8.66 million appropriation in section 15(3)(b) "for the 
operation of field offices." Accordingly, the Governor could not veto 
section 15(5) without vetoing the accompanying appropriation in section 
15(3). We further conclude the Governor impermissibly item vetoed the 
restriction in section 20 on use of IWD appropriations for the national 
certificate program. 

Simply stated, the legislature appropriated funds to IWD with 
strings attached, and our constitution does not permit the Governor to 
cut the strings and spend the money differently. The required remedy is 
to invalidate the following sections of Senate File 517: sections 15, 17, 
18, 19, and 20 of division I and sections 61, 63, 64, 65, and 66 of 
division IV. The other sections of Senate File 517 affirmatively approved 
by the Governor remain in effect as enacted. In light of this remedy, we 
need not decide the validity of the Governor's item veto of section 15(3)(c). 



4 



I. Background Facts and Proceedings. 

The Eighty-fourth General Assembly of Iowa passed Senate File 
517, "The Economic Development Appropriations Bill," on June 27, 
20 1 1 . The bill was sent to Governor Branstad three days later, on the 
last day of the legislative session. Senate File 517 begins with this 
description: 

An act relating to and making appropriations to the 
department of cultural affairs, the department of economic 
development, certain board of regents institutions, the 
department of workforce development, the Iowa finance 
authority, and the public employment relations board, and 
addressing related matters including tax credits and 
including immediate effective date and retroactive 
applicability provisions. 

All parties agree Senate File 517 is an appropriations bill. 

Appropriations and provisions relating to IWD are found in division 
I, sections 15 through 20 of Senate File 517 for the fiscal year July 1, 
2011, to June 30, 2012. 2 On July 27, Governor Branstad item vetoed 
sections 15(3)(c) and 15(5), as follows: 

Sec. 15. DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE 
DEVELOPMENT. There is appropriated from the general 
fund of the state to the department of workforce development 
for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2011, and ending June 
30, 2012, the following amounts, or so much thereof as is 
necessary, for the purposes designated: 

3. WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OPERATIONS 

a. For the operation of field offices, the workforce 
development board, and for not more than the following full- 
time equivalent positions: 

, $8,671,352 

, FTEs 130.00 



identical language for the next fiscal year is found in division IV, sections 61 to 
66. Our analysis will discuss sections 15 through 20 of division I, but that analysis and 
our ruling apply equally to sections 6 1 to 66 of division IV. 



5 



b. Of the moneys appropriated in paragraph "a" of this 
subsection, the department shall allocate' $8,660,480 for the 
operation of field offices. 

c. The department shall not reduce the number of 

field offices b e low the number of field offices being operat e d 
as of January 1, 2009, 



5. DEFINITIONS 

For purposes of this section: 

a. "Field office" means a satellite office of a workforce 

developm e nt center through whi ch the workforc e 

development center maintains a physical presence in a 
county as describ e d in section 81 B. 2, For purposes of this 
paragraph, a worlcforce development center maintains a 
physical pr e sence in a county if the. center employs a staff 
person. — "Field office" does not include the presence of a 
workforce development center maintained by electronic 
means. • 

; — b. "Workforce development center" means a center at 

which state and federal employment and training programs 
are eolocated and at which services are provided at a local 
level as d e scribed in section 81B.1. 

Governor Branstad's transmittal letter to Secretary of State Schultz 
explained: 

I am unable to approve the item designated Section 
15, subsection 3, paragraph c, in its entirety. This item 
would prohibit Iowa Workforce Development ("IWD") from 
putting forth an enhanced delivery system that broadens 
access to Iowans across the state in fiscal year 2012. In 
order to develop a sustainable delivery system, in light of 
continually fluctuating federal funding, the department must 
put forth a system that embraces the use of technology while 
providing enhanced benefits through' maximum efficiencies. 
At this time, IWD has over one hundred ninety virtual access 
point workstations in over sixty new locations throughout 
the state in order to increase access to these critical services. 
Iowans are already utilizing expanded hours of operations, 
six days a week. At my direction, IWD will have hundreds of 
additional virtual access points by the end of fiscal vear 
2012. 

I am unable to approve the item designated as Section 
15, subsection 5 in its entirety. This item attempts to define 
a delivery system in such a way as to prevent growth and 
progress in serving Iowans in fiscal year 2012. IWD has 
recognized the necessity of delivering services through 



6 



multiple streams, including technology. As such, IWD is 
putting forth a plan that delivers more services to lowans 
while streamlining government. 

Sections 17, 18, and 19 appropriated additional funds to IWD. 
Section 20 restricts IWD from using appropriated funds for the National 
Career Readiness Certificate Program. Governor Branstad item vetoed 
section 20 as follows: 

Sec. 20. APPROPRIATIONS RESTRICTED. The 

department of workforce development shall not use any of 
the moneys appropriated in this division of this Act for 
purposes — ef — the — national — career — readiness — certificate 
program. 

The Governor's transmittal letter to Secretary Schultz explained: 

I am unable to approve the item designated as Section 
20 in its entirety. This item would prohibit IWD from using 
the National Career Readiness Certificate program in fiscal 
year 2012. The National Career Readiness Certificate 
program is an Iowa-based product which is an assessment 
and skill development tool that has been embraced by over 
400 Iowa employers as an exceptional tool for demonstrating 
skills for a potential employee. It is nationally recognized by 
both the Executive Office of the President and the U.S. 
Department of Labor as a reliable and portable tool for job 
seekers to present and certify their 'skills. I cannot agree 
with the denial to IWD of the potential use of this program. 

Plaintiffs commenced this action in district court on August 24. 
They alleged these item vetoes exceeded Governor Branstad's 
constitutional authority and sought a declaratory ruling the vetoes were 
void and that Senate File 517 became law as presented to the Governor. 
On September 20, plaintiffs moved for summary judgment. They argued 
the vetoed provisions were "conditions and restrictions on 
appropriations" that could not be item vetoed apart from "the 
accompanying appropriations." Plaintiffs asked for a declaratory ruling 
that each attempted item veto is "unconstitutional, illegal, null, [and] 
void." Plaintiffs also changed their position on the remedy to seek a 



7 

ruling that no provision of Senate File 517 became law. Governor 
Branstad cross-moved for summary judgment. The Governor asked the 
district court to rule "the item vetoes exercised were constitutional." 

On December 8, the district court entered its decision. It ruled 
that sections 15(3)(c) and 15(5) were conditions that could not be vetoed 
apart from the appropriations in section 15. The district court concluded 
"[t]he prohibition against reducing the number of field offices was 
inseparably connected to the appropriation." It further determined that 
the "field office" definition qualified the field office appropriation. The 
district court, however, ruled that Governor Branstad properly vetoed 
section 20 because it was "overly broad" and "therefore must be 
considered to be a rider." As to the remedy, the district court concluded 
Senate File 517 "became law as if [Governor Branstad] had not exercised 
the item vetoes . . . determined to be invalid." 

All parties appealed, and we granted expedited briefing and 
argument. The Governor argues on appeal that the district court erred 
in holding Senate File 517 sections 15(3)(c) and 15(5) could not be vetoed 
apart from the appropriations in section 15. Plaintiffs argue the district 
court erred in holding section 20 was a stand-alone "item" subject to 
veto. -We heard televised oral arguments on the evening of February 21. 

XI. Standard of Review. 

Whether the Governor properly exercised his item veto power " 'is 
an issue of constitutional analysis which presents a question of law for 
the courts.'" Rants v, Vilsack, 684 N.W.2d 193, 199 (Iowa 2004) (quoting 
Junkins v. Branstad, 448 N.W.2d 480, 482 (Iowa 1989)). Summary 
judgment is the appropriate vehicle to resolve this legal question. Id.; 
Welsh v. Branstad, 470 N.W.2d 644, 647 (Iowa 1991) ("[T]he ultimate 
question of whether the excised portion was subject to item veto is 



8 



always a question of law."). We review de novo the district court's 
summary judgment ruling on questions of constitutional law. See Ames 
Rental Prop. Ass'n v. City of Ames, 736 N.W.2d 255, 258 (Iowa 2007) ("We 
review constitutional claims de novo" to determine whether the district 
court correctly applied the law on summary judgment.); Rants, 684 
N.W.2d at 199-200. 
III. Analysis. 

"Our opinion concerning the wisdom of either the original 
enactment[] or the vetoes does not enter into our judicial evaluation of 
the legality of the Governor's action." Rush v. Ray, 362 N.W.2d 479, 480 
(Iowa 1985). The elected branches decide how best to deliver 
employment services to Iowans; our role as the third branch is to decide 
this constitutional case. 

The Governor's item-veto power is set forth in article III, section 16 
of the Iowa Constitution, which provides in pertinent part: 

The governor may approve appropriation bills in whole 
or in part, and may disapprove any item of an appropriation 
bill; and the part approved shall become a law. Any item of 
an appropriation bill disapproved by the governor shall be 
returned, with his objections, to the house in which it 
originated, or shall be deposited by him in the office of the 
secretary of state in the case of an appropriation bill 
submitted to the governor for his approval during the last 
three days of a session of the general assembly, and the 
procedure in each case shall be the same as provided for 
other bills. Any such item of an appropriation bill may be 
enacted into law notwithstanding the governor's objections, 
in the same manner as provided for other bills. 

(Emphasis added.) 

In construing the item-veto provision, our mission " 'is to ascertain 

the intent of the framers."' Rants, 684 N.W.2d at 199 (quoting Junkins, 

448 N.W.2d at 483). We thoroughly reviewed the history of the item-veto 



power and authorities illuminating the boundaries of that power in 
Rants. Id. at 200-06. 

"[T]he purpose of the item veto provision of our constitution [is to] 
give[] the governor a larger role in the state -budgetary process." Junkins, 
448 N.W.2d at 484 (citing Colton v. Branstad, 372 N.W.2d 184, 192 (Iowa 
1985)). In Rants, we further observed "the item veto power developed 'to 
control logrolling, or the legislators' practice of combining in a single bill 
provisions supported by various minorities in order to create a legislative 
majority.'" 684 N.W.2d at 201 (quoting Richard Briffault, The Item Veto: 
A Problem in State Separation of Powers, 2 Emerging Issues in 
St. Const. L. 85, 87 (1989) [hereinafter Briffault]); see also Johnson v. 
Carlson, 507 N.W.2d 232, 235 (Minn. 1993) ("Historically, the line item 
veto was put in state constitutions to counteract legislative 'pork- 
barreling/ the practice of adding extra items to an appropriation bill 
which the governor could not veto without vetoing the entire 
appropriation bill." (citing Rios v. Symington, 833 P.2d 20, 23 (Ariz. 
1992))). 

"[T]he item veto power grants the governor a limited legislative 
function in relation to appropriation bills." Rants, 684 N.W.2d at 202. 
" '[W]hatever the veto's successes, in dealing with budget problems, by 
empowering the executive to veto a part of a bill, the item veto opens up 
a set of knotty legal and conceptual difficulties.' " Id. (quoting Briffault, 2 
Emerging Issues in St. Const. L. at 86). 

Defining the scope of an "item" subject to veto has proven difficult. 
" We must first look at the words employed, giving them meaning in their 
natural sense and as commonly understood.'" Junkins, 448 N.W.2d at 
483 (quoting Redmond v. Ray, 268 N.W.2d 849, 853 (Iowa 1978)). By its 
terms, article III, section 16 permits the Governor to "disapprove any 



10 

item of an appropriation bill." "This language — particularly the term 
'item' — has caused this court and other courts their greatest interpretive 
difficulty." Rants, 684 N.W.2d at 205. Separate policy items placed in 
an appropriation bill may be the subject of item veto — the item itself need 
not appropriate money. Id. ("Thus in [State ex ret] Turner [v. Iowa State 
Highway Commission, 186 N.W.2d 141 (Iowa 1971),] and subsequent 
cases, we have acknowledged the governor may constitutionally veto 
nearly any item in an appropriation bill even if that item is not a 
monetary allocation."). 

In Welden v. Ray, however, we held "that if the Governor desires to 
veto a legislatively-imposed qualification upon an appropriation, he must 
veto the accompanying appropriation as well." 229 N.W.2d 706, 713 
(Iowa 1975). We have used the terms "proviso," "restriction," 
"qualification," "limitation," and "condition" interchangeably to "denote[] 
'a provision in a bill that limits the use to which an appropriation may be 
put.'" Rants, 684 N.W.2d at 205 n.3 (quoting Colton, 372 N.W.2d at 
189). The point is this: when the legislature makes a specific 
appropriation for a specific purpose, the Governor can veto the 
appropriation as an item, but cannot veto the purpose and use the 
appropriation for a different purpose. We must decide whether the 
provisions vetoed by Governor Branstad in Senate File 517 are separate 
items subject to veto, or rather, conditions or qualifications upon an item 
of appropriation that could not be vetoed without vetoing the 
appropriation. ■ 

A. The Validity of the Item Veto of Section 15(3)(c). Governor 
Branstad makes a strong argument that his item veto of the provision 
prohibiting closure of field offices in section 15(3)(c) is valid under Turner. 
186 N.W.2d 141. Section 15(3)(c) states, "The department [IWD] shall 



11 

not reduce the number of field offices below the number of field offices 
being operated as of January 1, 2009." Turner is closely analogous. 
During the 1969 legislative session, the state highway commission 
requested $80,000 to move forty-eight engineers' offices. Id. at 149. The 
legislature passed a highway commission appropriation bill with a 
section 5 that stated: 

"The permanent resident engineers' offices presently 
established by the State Highway Commission shall not be 
moved from their locations; however, the commission may 
establish not more than two temporary resident engineers' 
offices within the state as needed." 

Id. at 143 (quoting H.F. 823, 63rd G.A., 1st Sess. ch. 30 § 5 (1969)). 

Governor Ray used the newly enacted item-veto amendment to 
strike section 5 from the bill, while leaving the highway commission 
appropriation intact. Id. Governor Ray's item-veto message stated: 

My action is based on the following: The function of 
the Highway Commission is to construct and maintain roads 
and highways in the State of Iowa in the most efficient and 
effective manner possible. 

Restricting the location or relocation of resident 
engineers' offices will inhibit the commission's efforts to 
operate at maximum efficiency. 

Mr. Joseph R. Coupal, director of highways, estimates 
that this restriction could cost the State of Iowa an estimated 
$100,000 during the biennium. 

Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). In the ensuing litigation, several 
legislators challenged Governor Ray's item veto as unconstitutional, 
contending that section 5 was a "restriction, condition or limitation upon 
an appropriation" not subject to item veto. Id. at 148-49. We disagreed 
and held that section 5 was a separate "item" subject to veto. We noted 
the absence of any expressly conditional language in section 5, in 
contrast to the preceding section that contained an explicit restriction: 



12 

We feel a comparison of section 5, which is set out in 
full above, with the foregoing section 4 is of more than 
passing interest. Section 4 provides, 

No moneys appropriated by this act shall be used for 
capital improvements, but may be used for overtime 
pay of employees involved in technical trades. 

It should be noted section 5 places no prohibition 
against the use of any moneys appropriated by the act for 
the moving of permanent resident engineers' offices presently 
established by the defendant commission. Had such 
language as used in section 4 been employed in section 5 we 
are impelled to the view that section 5 would have in such 
case been a proviso or condition upon the expenditure of the 
funds appropriated, but lacking such phraseology it 
obviously is not. 

Id. at 150 (internal quotation marks omitted). 

In concluding that section 5 was a separate "item" subject to veto, 
we emphasized that the provision "did not 'qualify an appropriation ' or 
'direct the method of its use' and is in no sense a condition, qualification 
or proviso which limits the expenditure of any of the funds appropriated 
by House File 823." Id. Governor Branstad argues the same description 
fits section 15(3)(c) of Senate File of 517. Viewed in isolation, section 
15(3)(c) contains no conditional language or prohibition against the use 
of money, and makes no reference to any appropriation. We presume the 
Eighty-fourth General Assembly was aware of our decision in Turner. 
See Welch v. Iowa Dep't of Transp., 801 N.W.2d 590, 600 (Iowa 2011) 
(" The legislature is presumed to know the state of the law, including 
case law, at the time it enacts a statute.'" (quoting State v. Jones, 298 
N.W.2d 296, 298 (Iowa 1980))). One of the lessons of Turner is that, if 
the legislature expects judicial intervention to be available when the 
Governor attempts to excise limitations or qualifications on 
appropriations through an item veto, the legislature must provide the 
court with clear language establishing the necessary legal foundation. In 
other words, if the legislature wants to condition or limit an 



13 

appropriation, it should expressly say so. See Turner, 186 N.W.2d at 153 
(intent to make language a "condition, restriction or proviso" should be 
"accomplished by specific draftsmanship"). 

Indeed, the Eighty-fourth General Assembly did use express 
language in section 20 restricting the use of appropriations to IWD: 
"APPROPRIATIONS RESTRICTED. [IWD] shall not use any of the moneys 
appropriated in this division of this Act for purposes of the national 
career readiness certificate program." The omission of such express 
"phraseology" from section 15(3)(c) permits an inference that the 
legislature had not intended it to qualify or direct the use of the 
appropriation for the operation of field offices. This lack of conditional 
language or an overt reference to an appropriation, however, might be 
explained by the juxtaposition of section 15(3)(c) with the immediately 
preceding section 15(3)(b) that contains the appropriation "for the 
operation of field offices." Both are subsections within section 15(3). In 
Turner, the vetoed language was not the very next sentence after the 
appropriation. The proximity, combined with the definition in section 
15(5) (requiring the physical presence of a staff person), arguably allows 
an inference that the appropriation for the operation of field offices is 
conditioned upon the directive not to reduce the number of them. 
Uncertainty over the legislature's intent could have easily been avoided 
by the addition of expressly conditional language. 

Ultimately, we need not decide whether section 15(3)(c) constitutes 
a separate "item" subject to veto because, for the reasons that follow, we 
hold section 15 as a whole fails. 

B. The Validity of the Item Veto of Section 15(5). We next 
address whether the Governor constitutionally could item veto the 
definition of "field office" in section 15(5) without vetoing the $8.66 



14 

million appropriation "for the operation of field offices" in section 15(3)(b). 
Turner did not involve a definition included in the same section of the bill 
as the appropriation. The Governor argues that section 15(5) is a 
separate item subject to veto. The district court ruled this item veto was 
unconstitutional, stating: 

Read in the context in which they were enacted, the 
legislative limitations embodied in the definitions contained 
in the vetoed provisions were clearly intended by the 
legislature to apply directly to the funds appropriated "for 
the operation of field offices." With the use of the phrase "in 
this section" the legislature evinced an intent to place 
restrictions on the use of the appropriations it made earlier 
in the section. 

We agree. Section 15(5), entitled "DEFINITIONS," begins by 
stating, "For purposes of this section . . . The provision then defines 
"field office" as requiring the physical presence of an employee at each 
field office. This definition applies throughout section 15 and, thus, 
controls the meaning of "field office" in section 15(3)(b), which 
appropriates $8.66 million "for the operation of field offices." The 
legislature textually linked section 15(5) to the appropriation in 15(3). 
Reading the provisions together, as the legislature directed, makes clear 
that each "field office" funded in section 15(3)(b) is to be staffed with an 
IWD employee. That is, a location with a computer workstation but no 
employee physically present is not a "field office" within the meaning of 
the appropriation provision. 

We have cautioned the item veto cannot be used to strike a 
provision that is "inextricably linked" to or an "integral part" of an 
appropriation. Colton, 372 N.W.2d at 190; Welden, 229 N.W.2d at 714. 
We see these provisions as inseparable and inextricably linked. The 
funds appropriated for field offices were for those defined in section 15(5) 
to require the physical presence of a staff person. The definition of "field 



15 

office" is an integral part of the appropriation for the operation of field 
offices. Definitions can impose conditions; this one did. The $8.66 
million appropriation had strings attached, tying the funds to the 
requirement that state employees staff the field offices. The fiscal 
wisdom of this requirement is not for pur court to decide. But our 
constitution does not permit the Governor to cut the strings and keep the 
money. 

In Rants, we reiterated the following admonition: 

[I]f the removal of the provision would permit the governor to 
"legislate by striking qualifications [on appropriations] in a 
manner which distorts legislative intent" or to "divert money 
appropriated by the legislature for one purpose so that it 
may be used for another," we consider it an inseparable 
statement of the legislature's will, impervious to an item veto 
unless both the condition and the appropriation to which it 
is related are item vetoed together. Rush, 362 N.W.2d at 482 
("The vetoed language created conditions, restricting the use 
of the money to the stated purpose. It is not severable, 
because upon excision of this language, the rest of the 
legislation is affected.") .... 

684 N.W.2d at 206. To allow the Governor to veto the definition in 
section 15(5) without vetoing the accompanying appropriation in section 
15(3)(b) would impermissibly "distort[] legislative intent" or "divert money 
appropriated by the legislature for one purpose so that it may be used for 
another." Rush, 362 N.W.2d at 482. Specifically, the Governor would be 
disregarding the express legislative direction requiring staffed field offices 
and diverting the money appropriated for a different purpose- 
unmanned computer kiosks. We conclude section 15(5) is impervious to 
an item veto without a veto of section 15(3). 

We therefore hold the Governor's item veto of section 15(5) was 
unconstitutional. 



16 



C. The Validity of the Item Veto of Section 20. We now turn to 
the cross-appeal. The district court upheld the validity of Governor 
Branstad's item veto of section 20, which states: 

Sec. 20. APPROPRIATIONS RESTRICTED. The 
department of workforce development shall not use any of 
the moneys appropriated in this division of this Act for 
purposes of the national career readiness certificate 
program. 

The district court ruled that section 20 is a rider subject to item veto: 

Although this provision places explicit qualifications 
and limitations on the use of the appropriated funds, it is 
overly h?road in the appropriated funds to which it is 
attached. It therefore must be considered to be a rider, and 
not an item, for item veto analysis purposes. Accordingly, 
Governor Branstad's item vetoes of Division I, Section 20 and 
of Division IV, Section 66, were effective and should be 
upheld. 

We disagree. We have cautioned the legislature cannot tie unrelated 
provisions in a bill together to frustrate the Governor's item-veto power. 
Colton, 372 N.W.2d at 192. But, the fact IWD received appropriations 
through four different provisions of Senate File 517, specifically sections 
15, 17, 18, and 19, does not make the express restriction on use of the 
money in section 20 overly broad or a rider subject to item veto. 3 A 



3 IWD received a fifth appropriation in division I, section 24 entitled 
"Unemployment Compensation Program": 

Notwithstanding section 96.9, subsection 4, paragraph "a", moneys 
credited to the state by the secretary of the treasury of the United States 
pursuant to section 903 of the Social Security Act are appropriated to the 
department of workforce development and shall be used by the 
department for the administration of the unemployment compensation 
program only. This appropriation shall not apply to any fiscal year 
beginning after December 31, 2011. 

(Emphasis added.) The legislature restricted the appropriation in section 24 for the use 
of the "unemployment compensation program only." IWD cannot use the funds 
appropriated in section 24 for the National Career Readiness Certificate Program. 
Accordingly, section 20 is not a condition that restricts or qualifies section 24. Division 
IV, section 70 mirrors the appropriation in section 24 for the next fiscal year. 



17 

"rider" is "an unrelated substantive piece of legislation incorporated in 
the appropriation bill." Id. at 191. Section 20 is not "unrelated" to the 
IWD appropriations. To the contrary, section 20 explicitly restricts the 
use of IWD's appropriations, and that is all it does. 

"Inherent in the power to appropriate is the power to specify how 
the money shall be spent." Welden, 229 N.W.2d at 710. This power 
"may be couched in the negative." Id. We have held provisions 
restricting executive branch agencies from spending appropriated money 
for nonspecified purposes are conditions not subject to independent veto. 
Rush, 362 N.W.2d at 482-83. Section 20 precludes IWD from spending 
any of its appropriations on the national certificate program. Without 
this restriction, IWD could transfer funds appropriated for another 
purpose to the program. Iowa Code § 8.39 (2011). Like the provisions in 
Rush, section 20 is an appropriately tailored "outgrowth of the 
legislature's power to appropriate funds." See Rush } 362 N.W.2d at 483. 

Section 20 uses the type of "phraseology" that, according to Turner, 
identifies a condition. See Turner, 186 N.W.2d at 150 (identifying as a 
"condition" section 4 in the bill at issue, which stated, "No moneys 
appropriated by this act shall be used for capital improvements"). 
Section 20 constitutes a "condition," that is, "a provision in a bill that 
limits the use to which an appropriation may be put." Colton, 372 
N.W.2d at 189. Accordingly, Governor Branstad could not item veto 
section 20 without also vetoing the IWD appropriations in sections 15, 
17, 18, and 19. See Welden, 229 N.W.2d at 713 ("[I]f the Governor 
desires to veto a legislatively-imposed qualification upon an 
appropriation, he must veto the accompanying appropriation as well."). 

We hold the Governor's item veto of section 20 was 
unconstitutional. 



18 

D. The 'Remedy. We now turn to the remedy required by our 
holdings that the Governor's item vetoes of section 15(5) and section 20 
were unconstitutional. The district court granted the remedy sought by 
plaintiffs in their petition and declared that "Senate File 517 became law 
as if the Governor had not exercised the item vetoes which were herein 
determined to be void." Governor Branstad argues on appeal the proper 
remedy for an invalid veto of a condition on an appropriation is to 
invalidate the entire item containing the appropriation. The Governor is 
correct on this point. This remedy is required by article III, section 16, 
which provides in relevant part: 

Any bill submitted to the governor for his approval during 
the last three days of a session of the general assembly, shall 
be deposited by him in the office of the secretary of state, 
within thirty days after the adjournment, with his approval, 
if approved by him, and with his objections, if he 
disapproves thereof. 

The governor may approve appropriation bills in whole 
or in part, and may disapprove any item of an appropriation 
bill; and the part approved shall become a law. 

Iowa Const, art. Ill, § 16. 

Senate File 517 is an appropriation bill that was presented to the 
Governor on June 30, 2011, the last day of the legislative session. Bills 
presented to the Governor during "the last three days of a session of the 
general assembly" do not become law without the Governor's affirmative 
approval. Rants, 684 N.W.2d at 210-11 (citing Iowa Const, art. Ill, § 16). 
The Governor has thirty days to approve or disapprove the bill. Id. This 
is known as trie "pocket veto" period because the bill fails if the Governor 
takes no action. Id. at 201, 210. In this case, Governor Branstad's 
timely transmittal letter to Secretary of State Schultz stated, "Senate File 
517 is approved on this date with the following exceptions, which I 



19 

hereby disapprove." The letter went on to identify the provisions the 
Governor disapproved by exercising his item veto. 

In Rants, Governor Vilsack item vetoed parts of a 
nonappropriations bill presented to him during the last three days of the 
session. Id. at 211-12. We held his item vetoes were invalid and as a 
result the entire bill failed. Id. We stated, «[N]o portion of HF 692 
became law because the entire bill did not receive the affirmative 
approval of both the Legislature and Governor . . . .» Id, at 212. This 
result was required because nonappropriations bills must be approved or 
disapproved in their entirety, and an invalid item veto cannot constitute 
approval. Id. 

By contrast, our constitution provides the Governor "may approve 
appropriation bills in whole or in part, and may disapprove any item of 
an appropriation bill; and the part approved shall become law." Iowa 
Const, art. Ill, § 16. Because the Governor may approve or disapprove 
any item in an appropriation bill, an ineffective item veto is not fatal to 
the entire bill, but only to the affected items. 

We hold that, when the Governor impermissibly item vetoes a 
condition on an appropriation during the pocket veto period, the 
appropriation item fails to become law. This result is mandated by our 
constitutional requirement that enactments do not become law without 
the approval of both elected branches except when a legislative 
supermajority overrides a veto. Here, the Governor did not approve the 
IWD appropriations with the conditions. Yet, the legislature did not pass 
the appropriations without the conditions. Thus, the IWD appropriations 
without the conditions could not become law because the approval of 
both elected branches was lacking. 



20 

Specifically, the Governor failed to effectively approve section 15(3), 
containing the $8.66 million appropriation for the operation of field 
offices because he failed to approve the accompanying condition defining 
field offices in section 15(5). The Governor's affirmative approval of 
section 15(3) was required during the pocket veto for it to become law. 
Section 15(3) fails for this reason. 

Section 20 is a restriction on IWD appropriations. Those 
appropriations are found in sections 15(l)-(4), 17; 18, and 19. Governor 
Branstad's approval of those sections was ineffective in light of his failure 
to approve the accompanying condition in section 20. Accordingly, those 
sections did not become law. The remaining sections of Senate File 517, 
affirmatively approved by Governor Branstad, became law. 

IV. Disposition. 

We affirm the district court's summary judgment declaring the 
Governor's item veto of section 15(5) unconstitutional. We reverse the 
district court's summary judgment upholding the Governor's item veto of 
section 20. We remand for entry of judgment in plaintiffs' favor declaring 
the Governor's item veto of section 20 unconstitutional and further 
declaring that sections 15, 17, 18, 19, and 20 of division I and sections 
61, 63, 64, 65, and 66 of division IV of Senate File 517 did not become 
law. All other provisions in Senate File 517 affirmatively approved by the 
Governor became law. 

SUMMARY JUDGMENT AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED IN 
PART; CASE REMANDED.