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State

Officials study gutting of Des Moines rights panel

DES MOINES (AP) — Officials are examining the possible effects of essentially closing the Des Moines Human Rights Commission.

Some people say the commission is duplicating work being done by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

The Des Moines Register reported that the city commission closed or resolved 33 complaints in the fiscal year that ended June 30. The Iowa commission processed 306 complaints from Des Moines over the same period.

Money is an issue, too.

The Des Moines cost per case based on its entire budget was $10,333. The state commission’s cost was about $595 per case for nearly 2,200 cases statewide.

Des Moines Human Rights Director Rudy Simms says the per-case cost comparisons include his commission’s other activities, such as community education.

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