Iowa legislative leaders and Governor Culver's office are working this afternoon to schedule a public hearing next week that could lead to changes in the 2000 foot rule for sex offenders. Right now sex offenders can't live within 2000 feet of schools, etc. New restrictions would stop them from even stepping foot in places where there are a lot of kids like schools, day cares, swimming pools, etc. Another provision would allow the least serious offenders to be taken off the sex offender registry if all parties agree, including the victim.
The final product (or at least the hope here) is that this would be a bipartisan effort that won't be bogged down with party fighting that could destroy the efforts.
It's also sounding more and more like that movement to overhaul the state's tax system and eliminate federal deductibility is falling apart. House Speaker Pat Murphy said he has only 50 Democratic votes right now. He said the missing 6 Democratic votes are not the so-called "six-pack" of Democrats who helped bring down a labor bill earlier this session that lead to that infamous weekend "sit-in" at the statehouse. Murphy said he isn't giving up. He blamed Governor Culver for losing Democratic support on this. Culver, he said, insisted on cutting taxes for more Iowans as part of the plan. Murphy said that's what hurt the efforts.
Interestingly enough, the apparent demise of the tax bill comes on the day between 2 and 3,000 Iowans held a tea party protest rally on the front lawn of the Iowa Statehouse to oppose all the money the government has been spending. And who said this legislative session wasn't going to be interesting?:)
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