Senate Lawmakers Change Course on Juvenile Home

The Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo is scheduled to close. (WATERLOO COURIER PHOTO)

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By Aaron Hepker

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lawmakers in the Iowa Senate are revising legislation originally designed to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo.

Democratic Sen. Joe Bolkcom, of Iowa City, says the bill is being amended and would instead simply require the state to establish a facility for delinquent girls. He says the amended bill — which got preliminary approval from a Senate subcommittee Wednesday — will not specify where that facility should be.

The Iowa Juvenile Home was closed by Gov. Terry Branstad on Jan. 15 following allegations that teens were improperly treated at the center. Bolkcom says he wants to keep the focus on treatment for girls who need it.

Four Democratic lawmakers have filed a lawsuit against Branstad, seeking to keep the home open. That effort will continue in the courts.

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