Board of Regents Nominee Faces Questions from Iowa Senate

Feb 9, 2015

Iowa state senators today questioned Greene County social worker Sherry Bates, Governor Branstad’s nominee to the Iowa Board of Regents.

Cedar Rapids Democrat Liz Mathis did not vote to send Bates’s nomination to the full Senate, saying she wants more information about the nominee. Mathis says there’s some concern that Bates is registered as an independent on the state’s voter rolls, instead of Republican or Democrat.

"People who are appointing, or approving, or voting on nominations, sometimes we wonder about that," Mathis says. "Because there is supposed to be a balance on committees and boards and its gotten out of whack."

With Bates’ nomination, the makeup of the board will be five Republicans, two Democrats and two Independents. Another state panel, the Public Employee Relations Board, also lacks a balance between Republicans and Democrats as that panel has two Republicans and one independent.

The next step in the nomination process is a vote by the entire Iowa Senate. To be confirmed Bates requires two-thirds of the Senate's approval.