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Gov. Reynolds Names New Director of the Iowa DOT, Syringe Exchange Bill Unlikely to Gain Traction

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Today, Gov. Reynolds announced the appointment of Scott Marler to serve as Director at the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT). His appointment is effective today.

Marler says he is looking forward to serving the citizens of Iowa.

Interim Director Stuart Anderson will return to his role as Director of the Planning, Programming, & Modal Division.   

In December, Governor Reynolds asked the current DOT director Mark Lowe to resign. Reynolds said she “decided to seek a change in leadership.

Lowe resigned from the $156,000-a-year job effective Jan. 10. 

An effort over the past three legislative sessions to legalize syringe exchange programs in Iowa, or at least create a pilot program, is unlikely to pass even though it has bipartisan support.

Syringe exchanges provide clean injection supplies to people who use drugs to prevent the spread of diseases and connect them with treatment and other services.

Republican Senator Zach Whiting (white-ing) of Spirit Lake says he was opposed at first until he learned more about the potential for reducing diseases and associated costs.

A new look at data from the University of Iowa hospital shows the state is paying millions to care for people with serious medical conditions from using dirty needles. The Iowa Police Chief Association is the only group that’s openly lobbying against the bill. Republican leadership has previously declined to bring the bill for a floor vote.

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