Republicans in the Iowa legislature have agreed to a 20 million dollar increase in the budget for the Iowa Department of Corrections.
It’s the most sizable increase in years and comes after two Anamosa prison employees were beaten to death by two inmates who’ve both been charged with their murders. Representative Gary Worthan of Storm Lake and 52 other Republicans in the House voted for the plan shortly before one o’clock this morning.
Democrats in the House unsuccessfully tried to add more requirements to the plan. Representative Liz Bennett of Cedar Rapids called for a federal investigation of the March 23rd assaults and reports to the legislature on all investigations of the incident.
The House unanimously voted to make it state policy to extend health care coverage to the families of prison staff who are killed on the job. Representative Lee Hein of Monticello represents the Anamosa area and found out the McFarland and Schulte families lost health care coverage April 1st.
COBRA is an acronym for a federal law that gives workers and their families the right to purchase insurance through the group plans in their workplace for a period of time after they’ve been laid off or experienced some other life event. State law already extends health care coverage to the families of fire fighters, police and state troopers who are killed on the job. Senate Republicans are expected to quickly approve the overall budget plan for the Iowa Department of Corrections and other criminal justice agencies in state government, perhaps as soon as today.
story courtesy of Radio Iowa