DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says he has signed an executive order prohibiting state agencies from signing confidential settlement agreements. Branstad, back in Iowa from vacation, is responding to criticism of agreements reached between state agencies and several state employees who were fired and then paid more than $280,000 to keep quiet. Branstad says Monday that Iowans expect more from state government and deserve better. He says he didn’t know about the settlements. His order requires settlement agreements to be reviewed by the attorney general’s office and all agreements to be posted on a state website. He’s also ordered all past settlement agreements to be posted — that’s more than 321 since he took office. He says 24 contain confidentiality agreements and 10 included lump sum payments to workers.
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