Home Local News IOWA HOUSE APPROVES GREATER PENALTIES FOR PROTEST DAMAGES

IOWA HOUSE APPROVES GREATER PENALTIES FOR PROTEST DAMAGES

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THE IOWA HOUSE HAS PASSED A WIDE RANGING BILL THAT WOULD ESCALATE PENALTIES FOR PROTESTS THAT DAMAGE PROPERTY AND PROVIDE POLICE WITH NEW LIABILITY FROM LAWSUITS.

FIFTY-FIVE REPUBLICANS AND EIGHT DEMOCRATS VOTED FOR THE PACKAGE.

REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE JARAD KLEIN OF KEOTA SAYS THE BILL IS A RESPONSE TO PROTESTS THAT CREATED UNSAFE SITUATIONS IN IOWA AND OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY OVER THE PAST YEAR.

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TWO REPUBLICANS AND 28 DEMOCRATS OPPOSED THE BILL, WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE THE ANTI-RACIAL PROFILING PROPOSAL FROM REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR KIM REYNOLDS.

REPRESENTATIVE AKO ABDUL-SAMAD, A DEMOCRAT FROM DES MOINES, SUGGESTS THE BILL IS TONE DEAF TO WHAT IS FUELING RACIAL JUSTICE PROTESTS.

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REPRESENTATIVE MARY WOLFE, A DEMOCRAT FROM CLINTON, SAYS THE BILL MAKES DAMAGE OF ANY PUBLICLY-OWNED PROPERTY A FELONY AND JUMPS UP THE PENALTIES FOR PROTESTS THAT BLOCKING SIDEWALKS OR YELLING RUDE AND ANNOYING THINGS AT POLICE.

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KLEIN SAYS HIS CONSTITUENTS WERE PRETTY UNHAPPY GRAFFITI WAS PAINTED ON THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL IN IOWA CITY DURING PROTESTS LAST JUNE.

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OTHER PROPOSALS IN THE BILL MAKE IT A CRIME TO USE A LAZER TO TRY TO BLIND POLICE.

POLICE, PROSECUTORS AND JUDGES COULD ENTER A PROGRAM THAT MAKES THEIR HOME ADDRESSES CONFIDENTIAL IF THE BILL BECOMES LAW.

THE SENATE HAS APPROVED PARTS OF THE BILL ALREADY, BUT MUST REVIEW AND PASS THE ENTIRE PACKAGE BEFORE IT WOULD GO TO THE GOVERNOR.