Iowa Senate Passes Legisation Over Domestic Violence Penalties

Wed 4-6-2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate has passed legislation that would increase penalties for repeat domestic abusers.

The Democratic-controlled Senate voted unanimously 50-0 Wednesday in support of the bill, which would create a mandatory minimum punishment for stalking, harassment and repeat domestic violence. It would also allow a judge to set a higher mandatory minimum sentence.

The bill received overwhelming support in the Republican-majority House in March.

Supporters say the legislation would better protect domestic violence victims. The Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence initially opposed the bill amid concern over the value of longer sentences. The group said Wednesday it now supports the bill because of several other elements in the measure.

Changes to the bill mean it will return to the House before it can reach Gov. Terry Branstad's desk.

(From the Associated Press.)