A new anti-loitering ordinance for sex offenders in Oelwein has renewed debate at the statehouse over a proposed state law that would forbid sex offenders from hanging around schools, parks, day care centers and other places where kids congregate.
Representative Clel Baudler, a Republican from Greenfield, is holding a bill in the House that would increase the penalty for child sex abusers and create those anti-loitering zones. But Baudler says if he lets the bill pass the House and go to the Senate, Senator Larry McKibben — a Republican from Marshalltown — will try to attach the death penalty to it and that would kill its chances of passing, according to Baudler.
“I have no problem supporting the death penalty,” Baudler says. “I have a big problem with holding up good policy for that reason.” “Take Senator McKibben out of the mix, we could get something done,” Baudler says.
McKibben bristles at that. McKibben says it was the Senate that passed a bill setting a mandatory 25-year prison sentence for anyone convicted of sexually abusing a child under the age of 13, and he says Baudler killed the bill. “Representative Baudler doesn’t have any business criticizing anybody over here,” McKibben says.
“Why didn’t they take up the Jessica’s law that passed unanimously in a bipartisan manner in the Senate?” McKibben asks. “Don’t accuse me of playing politics.”