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Senators, union sue to block governor’s move to shutter Iowa juvenile home for girls


This news story was published on January 2, 2014.
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Danny Homan

Danny Homan

DES MOINES – Today, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan, Senator Jack Hatch, Senator Steve Sodders, Representative Mark Smith, and Representative Pat Murphy filed suit in the Iowa District Court for Polk County to stop Governor Branstad’s closure of the Iowa Juvenile Home.

The lawsuit, which was filed against Governor Terry Branstad and DHS Director Charles Palmer, seeks an injunction to prevent the closing of the Iowa Juvenile Home.

“The legislature passed and the governor signed into law legislation that provides funding for the operation of the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo in both Fiscal Year 2014 and Fiscal Year 2015. We believe it is unconstitutional and unlawful for the governor to close the Juvenile Home and disregard legislation that was passed by the Iowa House and Iowa Senate and signed into law by him,” said AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan.

“Throughout Governor Branstad’s time in office, he has demonstrated a pattern of blaming others for his decisions. He has refused to accept responsibility for the mismanagement of the Iowa Juvenile Home by his managers. He has tried to claim that the decision to close the home was a result of the Iowa Juvenile Home Protection Task Force’s recommendations. However, the task force’s report contains no such recommendation to close the Juvenile Home,” Homan said.

“Over the past few weeks, the public has heard many testimonials from girls who resided at the Iowa Juvenile Home. These testimonials show how the staff of the Juvenile Home has made a positive difference in the lives of countless troubled Iowa youth. This lawsuit will hopefully allow the staff to be able to continue to carry on this important mission,” added Homan.

AFSCME Iowa Council 61 represents many of the employees at the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo. Across the state, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 represents 40,000 public and private sector employees.

Senator Steven Sodders

Senator Steven Sodders

In a released statement, Senator Sodders said “I joined this effort because Governor Branstad is abandoning Iowa children in need of serious help. I hope it will provide an objective, public review of Governor Branstad’s mismanagement of the Iowa Juvenile Home. For many years, the state of Iowa has invested in providing care for children who can’t be helped elsewhere. The goal of this lawsuit is to stop Governor Branstad’s shameful attempt to abandon that responsibility.”

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3 Responses to Senators, union sue to block governor’s move to shutter Iowa juvenile home for girls

  1. Avatar

    Blisterpak Reply Report comment

    January 2, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Finally the right thing has been done in this situation!!! The Governor was way off base here. Too little– too late Governator!!!

  2. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    January 2, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Typical Democrats talking out of both sides of their mouths. Now they want to claim this is unconstitutional when all Osama Obama does is violate the constitution. It is different when someone else does it. Impeach them all and put in some honest people in our government.

  3. Avatar

    4ever49 Reply Report comment

    January 2, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Well, surprise, surprise, surprise. AFSCME and Democrats sue to stop the governor from governing.
    The facts are that there were 21 girls at Toledo but 93 state employees. The girls have been moved elsewhere; if anyone was abandoned it was the “overworked” union members now have to find real work.