JUDICIARY-Week of January 30
SSB 3024 – Reimbursements for certain state prisoners confined in county jails
SSB 3032 – Relating to the nomination and appointment of judges
SSB 3055 – Relating to crime victim compensation, and the identity theft passport program
SSB 3073 – Eliminating the informal dispute resolution program
SSB 3024, as amended in committee, lengthens the time period in which a county may request reimbursement from the Department of Corrections for keeping persons in the county jail who have sentenced to the custody of the Department. The bill provides the counties with 30 days after the end of each calendar quarter within which to submit their requests to the Department of Corrections for reimbursement for holding state prisoners. Currently, the vouchers are required to be submitted within 15 days of the end of each calendar quarter. In addition, the amendment mandates that if a county does not submit its bill to the Department of Corrections by the end of the 30-day time period, the Department shall deny the claim. Currently, the Department of Corrections has the discretion to deny claims by the counties that are submitted after 15 days. [1/31: short form]
SSB 3032, as amended in committee, specifies that a district judge appointee shall be a resident of the judicial district where the nomination occurred before assuming office. If the judicial district is divided into judicial election districts, then prior to assuming office, the appointee shall be a resident of the judicial election district where the nomination occurred. In addition, the bill requires a person who seeks appointment as an associate juvenile judge to be a resident of the judicial election district in which the vacancy exists. Current law requires an applicant to be a resident of the county in which the vacancy exists. In addition, a full-time associate juvenile judge must be a resident of the judicial election district in which the office is held during the entire term of office. [1/31: short form]
SSB 3055 is an Attorney General’s bill that:
- Amends the Attorney General’s Identity Theft Passport program to allow Iowans who have been victims of identity theft outside the state to qualify for an Identity Theft Passport. The Attorney General provides victims of identity theft with a “passport” to show to law enforcement and creditors when necessary to support their claims that someone is impersonating them. Currently, only Iowans who are victims of identity theft that occurred within Iowa are eligible for the program.
- Allows the staff of the Victim Compensation program to participate in restitution plan hearings by telephone. Victim compensation amounts are included in an offender’s restitution plan and thus sometimes staff testimony is required at hearings.
- Adds victims of identity theft and elderly victims of financial exploitation to the list of persons who are eligible for compensation from the Victim Compensation Fund.
- Establishes a single definition of “Homicide Victim Survivor” to replace different definitions in three benefits specifically designated for homicide victim survivors—mental health therapy, health care and lost wages. A single definition for a “homicide victim survivor” is needed to streamline administration of the benefits. Currently, it is difficult to determine and explain the differences in the definition to survivors. For example, one of the definitions inadvertently excludes nieces and nephews, while it includes cousins.
- Makes clear that installation of new security items is a covered benefit of the Victim Compensation program, in addition to the replacement of security items, which is currently a covered benefit.
- Clarifies that a secondary victim or homicide victim survivor is not eligible for compensation if the victim is ineligible.
- Makes other changes to create consistency in definitions and applications of the program. [1/31: short form]
SSB 3073 eliminates a program for the establishment and support of locally organized informal dispute resolution centers in the office of prosecuting attorneys training coordinator of the Department of Justice. The program is redundant and has not been funded for numerous years. [1/31: short form]Posted Feb. 2nd, 2012 at 3:06 pm by Senate Intern