Posts Tagged ‘ 2017 Session Information ’

Dems: Major Tort Reforms Passed by Legislature

June 28, 2017

Several changes to how Iowan’s seek relief in the courts passed the Legislature this session. Major reforms were made to medical malpractice suits, suing for defects in property, and for those seeking relief from asbestos related illnesses. One bill approved will impose caps on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases of $250,000. Noneconomic damages include…

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Dems: Legislature Passes Sobriety 24/7 Program to Target Drunk Drivers

June 26, 2017

In an effort to prevent repeat drunk driving offenders, a new program commonly called Sobriety 24/7 passed the legislature this year. The program requires anyone convicted of a criminal offense where alcohol was a contributing factor, including certain Operating While Intoxicated Offenses, to test at least twice daily for alcohol or controlled substances. A court…

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Dems: Major Gun Changes Signed by Governor

June 22, 2017

Significant changes to the regulation of guns in Iowa were enacted by the legislature this session. Major reforms were made to the purchasing, carrying, and use of firearms – specifically handguns. House File 517 makes the permit to buy handguns valid for five years. Under current law, the permit is valid for just one year.…

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Dems: New Laws Taking Effect July 1

June 21, 2017

With the beginning of the state’s fiscal year, a host of new laws will take effect on July 1 relating to public health, workforce, and public safety. Lawmakers took action this session to stop texting while driving. Beginning July 1, law enforcement officers will now be able to pull over drivers and ticket them for…

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Dems: Domestic Abuse Mandatory Minimum Sentences Created

June 20, 2017

The legislature made several changes to stop domestic abuse this session, including mandatory minimums for repeat offenses of domestic abuse and better tracking and monitoring of abusers. The approved bill creates new mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenses of domestic abuse. A mandatory minimum sentence of 1/5 of the criminal penalty is required for a…

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Dems: Criminal Justice Reforms Sent to Governor

June 16, 2017

Significant criminal justice reform measures were passed by the legislature this year. Senate File 445 will bring the penalties for crack cocaine offenses more in line with powder cocaine penalties. The bill will also give the courts more discretion in sentencing for some crimes. The bill lowers the crack-powder discrepancy that exists in current law…

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Dems: Iowa’s Workers’ Compensation Laws Changed

June 14, 2017

Iowa workers injured on the job would receive less medical care and benefits under a plan approved by Republican lawmakers this year. For around 100 years the Iowa’s workers’ compensation law has acted to balance the rights of employers with those of employees. As part of the balance, if an employee is injured, they cannot…

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Dems: GOP Lawmakers Limit Health Decisions for Women

June 12, 2017

Iowa women will face new restrictions on difficult medical decisions next year while also having less access to family planning and cancer screening services. In the closing days of the legislative session, Republicans passed legislation that will leave thousands of Iowa women without access to critical health care services, like cancer screenings, birth control, and…

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Dems: Veterans Programs Take Hit in GOP Budget

June 8, 2017

This year, the GOP-led Legislature reduced support for key programs used by Iowa veterans. One such area that saw a significant shortage is the Veterans Home Ownership program. The program received $2 million for FY 18, a reduction of $500,000. This program provides $5,000 to veterans to be used for house down payments and closing…

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Dems: K-12 School Investment 3rd Lowest in Iowa History

June 6, 2017

Iowa schools will get the 3rd lowest increase in basic state funding in Iowa’s history next year. That’s according to the plan approved by Republican lawmakers this session. The shortfall in school funding again next year means seven of the last eight years have been the lowest funding levels in the history of Iowa. Signed…

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