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Sex offenders and ice cream truck drivers beware: New Iowa laws in effect

By   /   July 1, 2013  /   2 Comments

By Sheena Dooley | Iowa Watchdog

DES MOINES – Sex offenders, school workers and ice cream truck drivers in Iowa beware: Monday marks the day that a slew of new state laws go into effect.

All school employees will now have to undergo background checks that will include a search of the state’s sex offender and child abuse registry. Ice cream truck drivers will undergo the check to show they have a clean record. Those who don’t will not be allowed to operate their trucks in new “sex offender exclusion zones.”

Background checks for ice cream truck operators are among a slew of new laws taking effect Monday in Iowa.

Background checks for ice cream truck operators are among a slew of new laws taking effect Monday in Iowa.

Others affected by the new laws? Cell phone users, who will have to pay a 35 cent monthly surcharge for E-911, and college students at both public and private schools. Additionally, small-time lawbreakers, who will have to submit DNA samples and drivers whose licenses won’t expire for eight instead of five years. They will also be able to renew them online.

The beginning of July not only marks the independence of America but the implementation of new laws passed by lawmakers in states across the country. The impact of some won’t be felt until later as policymakers work to fine tune them.

Unlike Iowa, other states will see new rules that affect gun laws, limit abortions and allow residents to participate in the lottery.

Here’s a breakdown of some laws passed by lawmakers this year that go into effect Monday:

Cities and towns are able to create reinvestment districts that allow them to divert state sales tax dollars and local hotel fees to cover the cost of new attractions or projects.

Taxpayers will receive small income tax credits and the state’s earned income tax credit will increase for its poorest workers.

School districts will see a bump in their general state aid, while also receiving additional stipends if they adopt measures to raise teacher salaries and offer incentives for those who take on teacher leadership roles.

College students will benefit from tuition freezes at the state’s three public universities. Those attending private colleges are eligible for state grants of as much as $5,000.

Gov. Terry Branstad will have the final say in whether Medicaid dollars will pay for abortions in cases of rape, incest or those in which the mother’s life is in danger.

Tax reforms will start to take effect, although some will be gradually implemented. The legislation reduces commercial properties’ taxable assessments by 10 percent, while providing small businesses property tax credits.

Contact Sheena Dooley at dooley@iowawatchdog.org.

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  • yellowroselady

    Would the background check or exclusion zones have done any good in the prevention of the young children sexually abused by Jerry Sandusky…..NO! The recidivism rate for another sexual offense is 5.3% while the remaining 94%, as well documented by noted researchers and some law enforcement, of sexual offenses come from within the family, acquaintances and those having access to the children and most never get reported.
    These legislators who enact laws WITHOUT any empirical evidence supporting the need to do so should be held accountable when a child is sexually abused by someone NOT on a public registry and they charge should be “knowingly misleading parents and society as a whole” as to where the real threat lies.
    750,000 men, women and children on the registries and approximately 2,5000,000 wives, mothers, daughters, girlfriends, grandmothers and other loved ones experience the collateral damage by being harassed, beaten, folks driving by and shouting obscenities, homes damaged, vehicles vandalized, signs placed in yards, children passed over for grants and scholarships due to one parent being in the registry, and many other things that are against their civil and human rights.

    Vicki Henry
    Women Against Registry dot com

  • Anne D

    The government is so competent! They should control all aspects of our lives.

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