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Rep. Steckman: “mandatory sentences have had such terrible effects on many individuals”


This news story was published on March 10, 2019.
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The following is a legislative update from Democratic Rep. Sharon Steckman, representing the middle-third of Cerro Gordo county in the Iowa Legislature:

Last week, I reported to you that John Lee’s AP Government students (MCHS) came to the Capitol to advocate for HF 408 before the House Judiciary subcommittee. The bill concerned providing indeterminate sentences for class “D” felonies, a step toward adjusting mandatory sentences which have had such terrible effects on many individuals and families. I am excited to report that the bill has now passed out of the Judiciary full committee and stands a good chance of making it to the floor for debate.

The students should be very proud of their participation in the legislative process. I certainly was!

Watching them present, respond to questions about the bill, and offer amendments would have made anyone proud!

Another example of democracy in practice was seen during a subcommittee meeting for HF 542 which would have changed landowners’ ability to donate land to be used by the public – bike trails, public parks, fishing, hunting, etc. More than 400 people showed up for the subcommittee meeting which caused the location of the meeting to be changed to a bigger room. Even with the larger room there was still an overflow crowd in the hallway. The vast majority of those present were against the bill, including many from farming communities. The end result was that the bill will not move forward in the House. However, the bill did move forward in the Senate. So we still need to be vigilant… your voices DO matter!

I am pleased to report that HF 608 passed 22-0 out of the State Government committee. This bill will remedy the set of circumstances that caused 29 mailed absentee ballots in Winnesheik county to not be counted.

I have received many emails urging actions on bills such as: passing one that would protect companion animals and eliminate puppy mills; opposing one that would give public money to private schools; urging further relaxation of laws regarding cannabis – especially for medical use; and asking for better supervision of private Medicaid providers.

The point is that expressing your opinions to legislators is important and sometimes it does make a difference. It is always worth doing! I thank you for the opportunity to represent you!!!

Forum
Saturday, March 30
10:00 – 11:30
Mason City Public Library

Steckman: “On February 28th, Isabel, Julie, and Raul Carolus joined me in the Iowa House Chamber. They were at the Capitol advocating for Hemophilia of Iowa, a nonprofit organization providing education about bleeding disorders.”

Steckman: “I was delighted to show the Mohawk girls basketball team around the State Capitol on Friday. They made a great showing at the State Tournament! Nice work girls…you were so much fun to watch! They are pictured in the Law Library and on the Grand Staircase.”

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8 Responses to Rep. Steckman: “mandatory sentences have had such terrible effects on many individuals”

  1. Avatar

    ‘Nonymus Reply Report comment

    March 11, 2019 at 7:37 am

    How about the benefit to the victims of these crimes and society in general as a result of keeping these criminals off the streets? The only restitution most victims ever get is the peace of mind knowing that their perps are locked up for a mandatory amount of time!

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 11, 2019 at 2:27 am

    Cant do the time, don’t do the crime. Simple as that

  3. Avatar

    Bait & Switch Reply Report comment

    March 10, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    You should be proud that anyone takes the time to talk to you.

    Also, I thought members of the State Legislature were the ones that saw the process through to make sure that there were minimum mandatory sentencing guidelines.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 10, 2019 at 6:34 pm

      ts that led that charge. They claimed minority’s were being abused under the old system. I do tend to agree that mandatory’s are not always good. There are different circumstances to every case.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 10, 2019 at 6:35 pm

        Damn Computer, “You are correct, and it was the Democrats that led that charge.”

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          March 10, 2019 at 11:00 pm

          Branstad signed an order pretty much doing away with mandatory minimums.