There was a bit of giggling in the Iowa House Tuesday as lawmakers passed bills dealing with houses of ill repute and dead bodies. Representative Rick Olson, a lawyer from Des Moines, told his colleagues the first bill “cleaned up” state law by removing a reference to detention in a brothel.
“A: we don’t have brothels,” Olson said. “And B: if you were detained, it would be handled under the kidnapping section or the human trafficking section of the Iowa Code.” Representative Clel Baudler, a retired state trooper from Greenfield, talked about the bill, without saying anything about brothels.
“Representative Olson described this bill perfectly and I’d ask you to support it,” Baudler said to his colleagues. The bill passed without a dissenting vote. A few minutes later, Representative Olson was back at the microphone, ever-so-briefly explaining another bill. That one dealt with the crimes of abuse of a corpse by mutilation or the crime of sexual abuse of a corpse.
“Believe it or not, there are people who have sexually abused corpses,” Olson said. Another legislator suggested Representative Jeff Kauffman might have something to say about the bill, but when asked to add his two-cents worth, Kauffman simply said: “No.” Laughter rang out. The House passed that second bill and a few others which supporters say will clarify the state’s criminal laws.