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Legislative update from Senator Amanda Ragan

Cerro Gordo County officials Tim Lathan, Cerro Gordo County Supervisor, and Pat Wright, Cerro Gordo County Treasurer were also at the Capitol this week with the Iowa State Association of Counties.

From Senator Amanda Ragan of Mason City –

VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE GET ADDED PROTECTIONS

This week Senate File 401 was passed in the Iowa Senate.  This legislation provides a process for victims of sexual abuse to get a civil protective order that would require the perpetrator of the abuse to stay away from the plaintiff, the plaintiff’s residence, school or place of employment. Under current law, civil protective orders are available for victims of domestic abuse and victims of elder abuse. However, those who have suffered sexual abuse are not able to apply for a civil protective order. They can only get a no-contact order if there is a criminal prosecution, which does not always happen.

The process provided for in this bill is similar to the process for civil protective orders for domestic abuse. Those protected pursuant to a domestic abuse civil protective order or a sexual abuse civil protective order can sign up for notifications from a victim notification system within the Victim Assistance Division of the Attorney General’s Office. The protected person and others who register will receive notification when the protective order is served, as well as notification at least 30 days prior to the expiration date of the order.

These additional processes add additional layers of protections for people who already have been harmed by a terrible crime.

FLOOD CENTER IMPROVES WATER QUALITY & FLOOD PREPARATION

Following the devastating floods across Iowa in 2008, the state established the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa. The Flood Center harnesses the expertise of the university’s Hydroscience & Engineering Institute, one of the preeminent hydraulic laboratories in the nation, to improve Iowa’s flood prediction and preparedness.

Iowa Flood Center staff members were at the Statehouse this week to share their work with legislators. Since its creation, the Flood Center has mapped floodplains across the state and improved Iowa’s ability to monitor and predict floods. These advances were showcased last year when catastrophic rains led to major flooding in the Cedar River basin. With improvements in monitoring and planning, downstream communities were able to take action. The city of Cedar Rapids, for example, installed barriers that likely saved the community millions of dollars in damages to homes and businesses.

The Flood Center also uses its expertise to tackle Iowa’s water-quality problem. Through the center’s work, Iowa has received $97 million in federal grant money to implement the Iowa Watershed Approach, which is a collaborative effort to reduce flooding and nutrients making their way into the water in nine major watersheds across the state.

UPCOMING PUBLIC FORUMS

Mason City Listening Post
March 11 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Mason City Room at the Mason City Public Library, 225 2nd St SE

Clear Lake Legislative Update
March 24 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Clear Lake Bank & Trust Company, 322 Main Ave

Butler County Forum
March 25 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Allison Amvets Building, 718 9th Street

Franklin County Forum
March 25 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Hampton Chamber Of Commerce, 5 First Street SW

Legislation 101: Learning From Our Legislator
April 1 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Greene Public Library, 231 W Traer Street

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