Some child abuse investigation records would be opened to the Governor, legislators and their staff but not to the public under a bill which cleared the Iowa House today. The bill is a response to the death of a Spirit Lake toddler who died from abuse allegedly inflicted by her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. Representative Dan Boddicker (bawd’-ih-ker) says under present law, neither the Governor nor legislators have access to child abuse investigation records when a child dies or is near death.Boddicker, who’s a republican from Tipton, says legislators need access to child abuse investigation records to see if policies need to be changed.But some legislators, like Representative Don Shoultz of Waterloo, said the bill was only a “knee-jerk response” to the real problem. He says there needs to be more investigators so cases can be handled in a timely fashion.Representative Pam Jochum, a democrat from Dubuque, also said the state needs to hire more people to conduct child abuse investigations.Senators are working on a similar bill which would give the general public access to some child abuse investigation records, too.
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