Tag: News releases

Statement on departure of Human Services director

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release:  17 June 2019

Statement from Senate Democratic Leader
on departure of DHS Director

“The Governor needs to immediately launch a nationwide search for a new Director of the Department of Human Services who is truly committed to watching out for the most vulnerable children and adults in Iowa.

“This means finding an advocate who will fight for more resources, push for stronger policies, and ensure that those policies are enforced for the betterment of all Iowans.

“After years of mismanagement and neglect by Governor Reynolds and legislative Republicans, Iowans deserve a new Director with the backbone necessary to put quality care and proper oversight ahead of special interests.

“The damage they’ve done to Iowans includes:

  • Creating and supporting a privatized Medicaid system that is unsustainable, unaffordable and unaccountable. It’s so bad that the federal government has launched an investigation into whether officials in Iowa and other states are providing sufficient and appropriate oversight to ensure that people with Medicaid are receiving the care to which they are entitled.
  • Decimating the state’s successful family planning network, resulting in more unintended pregnancies, more risky births, more teenage mothers.
  • Inadequately funding mental health services for children and adults.
  • Allowing dangerous practices and procedures at Glenwood, Eldora and other at state-operated facilities.

“Finally, it’s especially bad news for Medicaid recipients, health care providers and Iowa taxpayers that the Governor’s Director is leaving (a) in the middle of negotiations with both out-of-state managed care organizations (MCO) and (b) when hundreds of thousands of Iowans are two weeks away from transitioning to a new MCO.”


Senate Dem Leader on AG’s decision regarding clergy sex abuse

On May 22, Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen joined survivors of childhood sexual abuse in calling for extending Iowa’s criminal and civil statutes of limitations. Iowa should be the safest place in the country to raise a child. Instead, Iowa is tied with Ohio for having the worst civil and criminal statute of limitations laws in the country for child sexual abuse, according to ChildUSA. We must work in a bipartisan way to create a pathway to justice for survivors, ensure accountability for predators, and make our communities safer.

June 3, 2019

Statement by Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen on Iowa Attorney General’s decision by regarding clergy sexual abuse in Iowa

“Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has taken two steps in the right direction today by requesting records on clergy abuse from Catholic dioceses in Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque and Sioux City; and by establishing a hotline — 855-620-7000 — for survivors to call and report abuse.

“I am grateful for the many survivors of child sex abuse who have stepped forward to tell their stories and to advocate for justice. 

“It’s important that we continue to listen to survivors to fix Iowa’s laws.  Survivors of child sex abuse deserve a pathway to justice.  Iowans, and our children especially, will be safer when we know the truth about sex offenders among us and have a better understanding of how to prevent child sex abuse.

“While the Attorney General’s request of the Catholic dioceses was limited only to clergy, I am hopeful he will expand the scope of the investigation to include any sex abuse reported in their dioceses.  I am also hopeful additional investigations will ensue based on information uncovered through the hotline.

“The Legislature must work next session to pass meaningful legislation to remove Iowa’s criminal and civil statute of limitations and give adult survivors a five-year period to seek justice. I will also support legislation to give the Attorney General expanded powers to go after sexual predators and organizations that cover up the crime.”

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NOTE: For more information about the newly established hotline — 855-620-7000 — for survivors to report abuse, please visit this website: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/IACIO/bulletins/248ef66

Trained advocates will be available to gather information from survivors.

An investigator will review the reports and may seek additional information. The identities of survivors will remain confidential.