Capital Clicks

Senate unanimously passes elder abuse bill, sends it to Reynolds

By: - April 5, 2022 3:03 pm

The Iowa Senate voted unanimously April 5, 2022, to create penalties for the abuse or exploitation of older Iowans. (Photo by Katie Akin/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Iowa would create new criminal penalties for elder abuse under a bill passed Tuesday by the Iowa Senate.

Senate File 522 sets criminal penalties for the abuse, assault or financial exploitation of an “older individual,” defined as someone aged 60 or over. The charges range in severity from misdemeanors to felonies.

Advocates for the bill in the House said the new penalties will be a valuable tool for elderly Iowans and their families.

“What this bill does is it provides additional protections for older Iowans to ensure that, in the state of Iowa, they’re not being taken advantage of,” Rep. Dustin Hite, R-New Sharon, said.

The Senate voted unanimously to pass the legislation. The bill passed the House unanimously in late March.

The bill now heads to Gov. Kim Reynolds’ desk to be signed into law.

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Katie Akin
Katie Akin

Katie Akin is a former Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter. Katie began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.