The war two eastern Iowa lawmakers are waging over sentencing policy is holding up plans to adjourn the legislature. Senator Andy McKean of Anamosa wants to give judges more lattitude to come up with innovative punishment for non-violent burglars and check forgers, the folks charged with third degree burglary. The 50-member Senate has backed McKean up, attached his sentencing reform agenda to a budget bill. Republicans in the House, however, are in the corner of Representative Chuck Larson of Cedar Rapids, who is not in favor of reducing the penalty for third-degree burglary. The House has voted to strip McKean’s ideas from that budget bill. The fight over this modest bit of sentencing reform is one of the few remaining obstacles to the legislature’s adjournment, which could come today, tomorrow, or even Friday in some lawmakers’ opinions.
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