The bill cleared the Senate last week on a 41-9 vote. Senator Dan Dawson, a Republican from Council Bluffs, said seizures would only be allowed if the chase involves speeds 25 miles an hour over posted limits.
“Eluding is a serious crime,” Dawson said. “Elements to meet eluding are serious.”
Democratic Senator Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids said it’s a “mean-spirited” bill that allows seizure of property before someone has been convicted of a crime.
“I thought we lived in a society where you were innocent until proven guilty,” Hogg said.
Hogg said under current law, a person has the right to apply to get a seized vehicle back unless the vehicle is needed as evidence in a criminal case. Another bill which passed the senate and is pending in a House committee would allow police to charge someone accused of a felony with another felony if they borrowed or stole a car to commit the crime.
There’s a legislative deadline for action on policy proposals at the end of this week. Bills that deal with taxing and spending are eligible for debate at any time. However, bills that solely deal with policy issues must pass either the House or the Senate and a committee in the opposite chamber by this Friday. Policy bills that fail to clear those hurdles by Friday are not eligible for consideration for the rest of the legislative session.