Iowa to pay $200,000 cost of sending troopers to Texas

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Wednesday it’s likely Iowa taxpayers will pay the cost of sending 28 Iowa Department of Public Safety officers to assist Texas officials at the U.S./Mexico border from July 10 through 20.

Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens estimated the total cost at around $300,000 but said $100,000 of that would have been salaries paid to the officers if they’d remained in Iowa, so about $200,000 of the cost is attributable to mission costs in Texas.

A spokesman for Reynolds earlier had suggested Texas may reimburse Iowa but Reynolds said Wednesday that although there may be federal funds to help pay, as of now “it looks like it would be the responsibility of Iowa.”

Reynolds was among a number of Republican governors who sent staff to the border at the request of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican. As the governors deployed the state employees, they criticized the policies of Democratic President Joe Biden.

Reynolds justified the expense, saying problems at the border have contributed to issues in other states and Iowa, which she said has seen an increase in illegal drug trafficking including fentanyl.

“It is an investment that I believe was well spent in helping really secure the southern border and the humanitarian efforts that were put into place. I felt it was the right thing to do,” she said.

She said Iowa will continue to evaluate the needs on the border and whether Iowa law enforcement might be useful again to officials there.