G-O-P leaders in the Iowa House want to change one word in the bill that toughens penalties for sexual deviants who prey on children. The Senate wrote the bill, telling state prison officials they “may” force sex offenders to wear an electronic bracelet once they’re paroled. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a Republican from Sioux City, says “may” is to weak a word and should be changed to “shall” so there’s no question that every sex offender who’s released from prison is followed electronically. “If Martha Stewart has to wear electronic monitoring, we think these perverts should as well,” Rants says. But Senate Co-President Jeff Lamberti, a Republican from Sioux City, says the Senate’s approach makes more sense. “There’s some real sophisticated stuff out there where you can really go after the most dangerous folks and track them in a very sophisticated way but if you’re going to do that, it’s going to cost a lot of money,” Lamberti says. “If (the House wants) to track everybody, then what you’re going to drive is if you don’t come up with additional (money) then you’re going to drive the level of sophistication to a lower level. We’re not sure that’s the right way to go.” Representative Kraig Paulsen, a Republican from Hiawatha, disagrees with the Senate’s approach that doesn’t put an electronic bracelet on every released sex offender. “That is a significant sticking point, but I think we can resolve it,” Paulsen says.
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