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Local Editorials

Iowa seniors deserve dignity, respect

Iowa seniors deserve to live their lives in Iowa with dignity and respect.  That’s why we are working on legislation this year to prevent elder abuse.  The legislation is based on recommendations from experts who met last year to ensure Iowa seniors have the protections they deserve.

Unfortunately, Iowa is one of the few states that do not have specific elder abuse laws.  We have dependent adult abuse laws to protect seniors under the care of others. However, that leaves out every senior who is not dependent on others for care, but still may be taken advantage of or pressured to make bad decisions. 

That’s why I’m working with a bipartisan group of legislators to help create a new law to combat elder abuse for all of our seniors.  It will protect every senior over 60 from abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. Here are just a few of the components of this legislation: 

• New criminal penalties are established for financial exploitation to stop others from taking advantage of vulnerable seniors

• Establishes an Elder Abuse Resource and Referral Program in local communities to focus on prevention of and responses to elder abuse

• Creates new protective orders for victims of elder abuse 

• Updates training so more Iowans can recognize elder abuse

• Removes confidentiality restrictions to allow the Attorney General’s Office access to dependent adult abuse and elder abuse information

It is critical for Iowa’s seniors that we get this legislation to the Governor’s desk this session.

Also, this week, Iowa’s three state universities joined a national public-private initiative launched to help 

develop manufacturing jobs in the Midwest.  On Tuesday, the White House announced the creation of two new “manufacturing innovation institutes,” in Chicago and Detroit, aimed at connecting universities with the private sector in hopes of bridging the gap between research and product manufacturing.

The University of Iowa will contribute $3 million in its role with the Chicago-based institute, which is partnering with 73 companies, nonprofits and universities focused on digital manufacturing and design technologies.  All of those dollars will stay in the state of Iowa to support research and manufacturing here. Iowa companies from the private sector involved in the Chicago consortium include Rockwell Collins, Proctor & Gamble, and Deere and Company.  I’m hopeful this will lead to more manufacturing opportunities in our state.

• • •

I am proud to represent Newton, Baxter, Colfax, Kellogg, Lambs Grove, Mingo, Ira, Prairie City, and Valeria.  Feel free to contact me anytime via phone at 641-521-9260 or by email at Please visit my website at And of course, on Facebook, I look forward to accepting your friend request. 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.  

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