Dems: Judiciary Committee Report – Week 8, 2018

March 1, 2018
By

SF 2148– Complete traffic camera ban
SF 2230 – Kidnapping in the 2nd degree
SF 2281 – Early abortion ban
SF 2356 – Sexually violent predators and earned time for sex offenders and domestic abusers
SF 2357 – Small claims court jurisdiction
SF 2373 – Child Endangerment
SF 2375 – Statute of limitations for sex offenses against children
SF 2378 – Terms of service for members of boards of directors of corporations
SF 2382 – Criminal Omnibus bill
SJR 2007 – No license revocations for drug related offenses

 

FLOOR ACTION:

Senate File 2148 bans traffic cameras in Iowa. The bill prohibits the state or any political subdivision from using an automated or remote system for traffic-law enforcement. Provisions in the bill include:

  • Automated or remote system for traffic-law enforcement is defined as a camera or other optical device designed to work in conjunction with an official traffic-control signal or speed-measuring device to identify vehicles breaking the traffic laws and to issue citations by mail or electronic means.
  • Prior to July 1, 2018, local authorities must discontinue using automated or remote systems for traffic-law enforcement and must remove any equipment.
  • Effective July 1, 2018, all local ordinances authorizing the systems are void. However, any citation issued or mailed prior to July 1, 2018 is not invalid.
  • The bill is effective upon enactment.
    [2/27: 32-18 (No: Bisignano, Boulton, Bowman, Danielson, Dawson, Dvorsky, Hart, Hogg, Jochum, D. Johnson, Kinney, Kraayenbrink, Lykam, Mathis, McCoy, Petersen, Ragan, Shipley)]

 

Senate File 2230 adds kidnapping someone under the age of 18 to the definition of second-degree kidnapping. Under current law, second-degree kidnapping is when the purpose is to hold the victim for ransom or when the kidnapper is armed with a dangerous weapon. Second-degree kidnapping is a “B” felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison. If a judge or jury determines a second-degree kidnapping was sexually motivated, the convict must register as a sex offender.
[2/27: 50-0]

 

Senate File 2281 prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, except in a medical emergency to save the life of the mother. “Medical emergency” does not include future health of the mother, and is much narrower than other medical emergency definitions. If a physician performs an abortion after a heartbeat it detected and it is not a medical emergency, they are guilty of a Class D felony, which is punishable by up to five years and a fine between $750 and $7,500. The bill does not impose civil or criminal liability on a woman.

Fetal heartbeats are usually detectable around six weeks, before most women even know they are pregnant, but all pregnancies are different. This bill may be unconstitutional because women have a legal right to abortion before “viability,” which is usually around 24 weeks.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists opposes to the bill. Under this bill, the University of Iowa could lose accreditation for its residency program in Obstetrics and Gynecology, which is the only such residency training program in the state.
[2/28: 30-20, party line (Yes: D. Johnson, Republicans)]

 

Senate File 2356 relates to sexually violent predators and earned time for sex offenders and domestic abusers. The bill has two distinct parts:

  1. The bill makes changes to Iowa’s sexually violent predator code chapter, which provides for the civil commitment of those with a mental abnormality that makes it likely they would continue to engage in sexually violent behavior upon release from prison. This division of the bill:
  • Prohibits a sexually violent predator from being released from a secure facility or transitional release program without supervision.
  • Allows a sexually violent predator to waive the requirement that a final hearing be held within 60 days if it is shown that their mental abnormality has changed to such a degree that they wouldn’t engage in predatory acts if discharged, or the person is suitable for placement in a transitional release program. The committed person may reassert the demand for a hearing within 60 days at any time.
  • Removes the requirement that a hearing be held within five days of return to a secure facility if the committed person is accused of violating the terms of a transitional release program or a release plan.
  • Makes a judicial district department of correctional services not liable for the acts of a committed person who was ordered released with supervision.
  • Provides that any treatment records, medical records, etc. relating to the committed person will be available to the attorney general, prosecuting attorney, committed person and their attorney without a court order.
  1. The bill also makes changes to the accumulation of earned time for those who fail to participate in and complete a sex offender treatment program or domestic abuse program when required. If the offender fails to complete the required programming, an administrative law judge may forfeit any or all earned time accrued.
    [2/27: 50-0]

 

Senate File 2357 increases the jurisdictional amount for small claims court from $5,000 to $7,500
[2/28: 32-17 (No: Bolkcom, Boulton, Bowman, Danielson, Dotzler, Dvorsky, Hart, Hogg, Horn, Jochum, D. Johnson, Kinney, Lykam, Petersen, Quirmbach, Ragan, Taylor; Absent: Bisignano)]

 

Senate File 2373 creates a new charge of child endangerment that can be brought against any person required to register as a sex offender who knowingly takes custody or control over a child or minor or who knowingly has unsupervised access to a child or a minor. Child endangerment charges would not be brought against a parent or guardian who is required to register as a sex offender or a person who is married to and living with a person required to register as a sex offender. Under current law, child endangerment charges can only be brought against a parent, guardian or person who has custody or control of a minor or person with a disability.
[2/28: 50-0]

 

Senate File 2375 removes the criminal statute of limitations for sex abuse in the first, second and third degree committed against a person under 18, allowing criminal charges to be brought at any time after the offense. An amendment removes the criminal statute of limitations when the following crimes are committed against a person under 18:

  • Incest
  • Sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist or school employee
  • Lascivious acts with a child
  • Assault with intent to commit sexual abuse
  • Indecent contact with a child
  • Lascivious conduct with a minor
  • Sexual misconduct with a juvenile
  • Child endangerment in violation of section 726.6, subsection 4, 5, or 6.
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor
    [2/27:50-0)]

 

Senate File 2378 removes the requirement for staggered terms for members of public corporations boards of directors.
[2/27: 50-0]

 

SF 2382 is an omnibus criminal code bill that makes changes relating to expunging criminal histories, robbery, property crimes, driver’s license revocation, theft, fraud, forgery, criminal proceedings and medical examiner investigations.
[2/28: 47-2 (No: Hogg, Taylor; Absent: Bisignano)]

 

Senate Joint Resolution 2007 says that the Legislature does not want to enforce federal law requiring suspension of drivers’ licenses for drug offenses because the law is an obstacle to mobility, employability and rehabilitation.

Under federal law, to obtain federal highway funding, Iowa must certify every year that it complies with federal law requiring suspension of drivers’ licenses for drug offenses that have no relationship to driving. However, if a legislature passes a resolution indicating the state does not want to comply with the federal requirement and if the Governor submits a written certification to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation that they too are opposed to enforcing the requirement, the state can keep its federal funding. There are 5,000 license revocations for drug offenses each year in Iowa. More than 350 people are arrested and charged with driving while suspended/revoked each year, after having their license suspended or revoked for a drug offense.
[2/27: 50-0]

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