The legislature has sent the governor a bill that would give more medical professionals authority to recommend patients be permitted to park in handclapped spaces. Under the bill, licensed physical therapists and occupational therapists would be able to recommend the Iowa DOT issue license plates for Iowans with permanent disabilities or permits that hang on a rear view mirror for those with temporary disabilities.

“These therapists have the training necessary to determine if a person needs special parking privileges in order to better function independently,” Representative Dennis Bush of Cherokee said.

Under current law it’s only doctors, physicians assistants and nurse practitioners who can recommend Iowans with a disability get special parking privileges. “House File 2259 makes it easier for a person with a disability to access the health care professionals who can help them get the special license plates or parking permits they need,” Bush said.

The bill also lets health care professionals in other states issue the recommendations to the Iowa DOT for plates or temporary permits that allow a vehicle to park in designated handicapped spaces. The bill passed the House unanimously in February and the Senate gave it unanimous approval Monday.