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Branstad Smaller Government Claim Disputed

DES MOINES, IA (AP) - A new report from a nonpartisan state agency questions whether Gov. Terry Branstad is cutting the cost and size of state government as he claims.

Branstad insists the state is on track to meet his promised 15 percent reduction in the cost of government. He says he's cut more than 1,000 state jobs.

The Legislative Services Agency, responsible for providing financial reports for lawmakers, says state employment has increased and state expenditures have fallen only slightly since Branstad took office.

Branstad's job cuts figure includes only the executive branch under his control. It doesn't include state universities or the legislative and judicial branches of government.

He insists he's on track to cut expenditures by 15 percent when compared to the projected spending of his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Chet Culver.

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