Iowa Sentencing Reform Bill Clears Committee, Goes to Senate for Vote

Post Date: March 30, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Lani Prunés
lprunes@famm.org
202.621.5066

The Iowa Senate Judiciary Committee today approved HF 579, sending the bipartisan sentencing reform bill to the full Senate for a vote. The Iowa House of Representatives passed the bill unanimously on March 20. The bill enjoys broad support from across the ideological spectrum, including conservative organizations like the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks, and the American Conservative Union.

“I hope the Senate will take this bill up right away. It’s a win-win for Iowa families and taxpayers. It will improve the justice system while saving money,” said FAMM president Kevin Ring.

HF 579 was championed in the Iowa House by Representatives Zach Nunn (R, District 30) and Rick Olson (D, District 31) and was shepherded through the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee by Senators Jason Schultz (R, District 9), Charles Schneider (R, District 22), and Dan Dawson (R, District 8), who also serves as an agent for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. The bill was also supported by Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Brad Zaun (R, District 20). Senator Dawson will manage HF 579 when it appears before the full Senate for consideration.

“We are grateful to leaders in both parties and both houses who have stepped up and led on this important issue. If this bill becomes law, Iowa will join more than 30 other states that found out that you can make sentences fairer and people safer at the same time,” Ring said.

Noting the fast-approaching end of the legislative session, Ring said he hopes lawmakers will get the bill to Governor Terry Branstad as quickly as possible. In 2016, Branstad signed another, more limited sentencing reform bill, HF 2064, which reduced some of the state’s mandatory minimum drug sentences. FAMM also supported HF 2064.

Full information about FAMM’s work in Iowa is available here.

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