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Senate Journal: Wednesday, January 14, 1998


  Senate Chamber
  Des Moines, Iowa, Wednesday, January 14, 1998

  The Senate met in regular session at 9:06 a.m., President Kramer

  Prayer was offered by the Honorable H. Kay Hedge, member of the
  Senate from Mahaska County, Fremont, Iowa.

  The Journals of Monday, January 12, 1998, and Tuesday, January
  13, 1998, were approved.


  Leave of absence was granted as follows:

  Senator McKibben until he arrives, on request of Senator Iverson.

  The Senate stood at ease at 9:08 a.m. until the fall of the gavel.

  The Senate resumed session at 9:45 a.m., President Kramer


  A committee from the House appeared and announced that the
  House was ready to receive the Senate in joint convention.


  In accordance with law and House Concurrent Resolution 102,
  duly adopted, the joint convention was called to order at 9:50 a.m.,
  President Kramer presiding.
  Senator Iverson moved that the roll call be dispensed with and
  that the President of the joint convention be authorized to declare a
  quorum present, which motion prevailed by a voice vote.

  President Kramer declared a quorum present and the joint
  convention duly organized.

  Senator Iverson moved that a committee of six, three members
  from the Senate and three members from the House, be appointed to
  notify the Honorable Arthur A. McGiverin, Chief Justice of the Iowa
  Supreme Court, that the joint convention was ready to receive him.

  The motion prevailed by a voice vote and the Chair announced the
  appointment of Senators King, Maddox, and Neuhauser on the part of
  the Senate, and Representatives Lamberti, Millage, and Chapman, on
  the part of the House.

  The following guests were escorted into the House Chamber:

  Secretary of State Paul Pate; Treasurer of State Michael
  Fitzgerald; Secretary of Agriculture Dale Cochran; and Attorney
  General Tom Miller.

  The Justices of the Supreme Court, Chief Judge Cady and the
  Judges of the Court of Appeals, and the Chief Judges of the state's
  judicial districts were escorted into the House Chamber.

  Mrs. Joan McGiverin, wife of the Chief Justice; and Ed and Joan
  McGiverin, Chief Justice McGiverin's cousin and his wife, were
  escorted into the House Chamber.

  The committee appointed waited upon Chief Justice McGiverin
  and escorted him to the speaker's station.

  President Kramer then presented Chief Justice McGiverin who
  delivered the following Condition of the Iowa Judiciary Message:

  Madam President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the General Assembly, State
  Judicial Colleagues and My Fellow Iowans:

  On behalf of the court, thank you for the invitation to report to you on the
  state of
  the Iowa judiciary.  It is a great honor for the Judicial Branch, as well as
  a personal
  privilege for me, to meet with you each year at this time.  This address
  marks my tenth
  state of the judiciary message.  However, I know that one should never
  assume that a
  repeat performance is automatic.  Winston Churchill once used this fact to

  Churchill received an invitation from George Bernard Shaw to attend the
  of one of his plays.  Shaw's note read:  "Enclosed are two tickets to the
  performance of one of my plays.  Bring a friend-if you have one."

  Not to be outdone, Churchill shot back this reply:  "Dear G.B.S., I thank
  you for the
  invitation and tickets.  Unfortunately, I am engaged on that night, but
  could I have
  tickets for the second performance-if there is one?"

  After I finish my remarks, we hope you can join the other judges and me for
  and conversation downstairs in our courtroom.  We can get better acquainted

  We regard this address as one of the most important things I do.  It is our
  opportunity to share with you an assessment of the administration of justice
  in Iowa; in
  other words, it is an account of our stewardship.  I trust you will
  conclude, as I have,
  that the past year has been exciting, marked by significant milestones for
  Iowa's court

  You should be aware of a number of important trends.  So far as we have been
  to learn, none of them are related to El Nino.

  During the past few years, you have been told of our struggles to keep up
  with the
  rising tide of criminal cases pouring into the courts.  I am pleased to
  announce that
  after ten years of dramatic growth, the number of indictable criminal case
  decreased slightly last year.  We do not know the reasons for the sudden
  change in this
  long-term trend, so we are only cautiously optimistic.  But if the rate of
  criminal filings
  continues to slow, it will ease some of the pressure on our courts, jails
  and prisons.

  However, I must report that the news about our overall caseload is mixed.  I
  burden you with all the numbers.  Information about the caseload is detailed
  in the
  appendix to these remarks.

  We're concerned about the growing backlog of cases in the appellate courts.
  In the
  past ten years, filings in our appellate courts increased over twenty
  percent; twice as
  fast as dispositions.  Parties appealing civil cases involving contracts,
  personal injury,
  and administrative law must wait seventeen months from the time of filing
  the notice
  of appeal to a decision.  Typically, these cases are ready to be submitted
  to the court
  within ten months.  But because cases involving children, crimes and certain
  matters take precedence, the civil cases must wait in line to be heard.

  While it appears that appeals will continue to increase in the foreseeable
  future, the
  number of dispositions per judge cannot continue to increase without
  affecting the quality of justice.  The Supreme Court and the Court of
  Appeals are
  working together to come up with solutions to cope with the volume, and
  we'll keep you

  We are especially concerned this year about the trend in juvenile cases.  No
  work of
  the courts is more important.  Since 1991, juvenile case filings have
  increased nearly
  forty percent.  What do these numbers mean?  For one thing it clearly means
  increasing demands on our juvenile court system-a system already in real
  need of

  This is not to say our hard-working juvenile court system is devoid of
  tools to help rescue troubled children.  One of our brightest examples is
  the CASA

  A CASA is a trained volunteer who advocates in court for abused and
  children.  Each CASA volunteer works closely with a child and the child's
  family to
  gather information about their personal life.  This information, which is
  furnished to
  the court in written reports and courtroom testimony, provides the court
  with extra
  insight about the child's circumstances.

  CASA makes a difference for youngsters who might otherwise become lost in
  juvenile court system-often a very dramatic difference.  Thanks to your
  CASA is reaching more children than ever before.

  Last year we added nine counties to our CASA program.  With these additions,
  CASA is now operating in a total of twenty-two counties, covering all eight
  districts.  Next fiscal year, we hope to take CASA into more counties so
  that we can
  reach more children in need.

  Anthropologist Margaret Meade, once said, "Never doubt that a small group of
  thoughtfully committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it's the only
  thing that
  ever has."

  Iowa is blessed with many generous people-volunteers and professionals-who
  dedicate their lives to helping abused and neglected children.  Recently,
  the Supreme
  Court, together with the Friends of Iowa CASA foundation, established the
  Advocate of the Year Award to recognize the special people who work
  tirelessly on
  behalf of Iowa's children.  It's my privilege to announce the first award
  McKee, a shelter caseworker at Jasper County Youth Services.  I will present
  award at the courtroom reception immediately following this address.  I look
  forward to
  seeing all of you there.

  "It's time to light a fire under Iowa's child welfare system."  These are
  the words of
  Dr. Jim McCullaugh, one of the members of a special Supreme Court committee
  that is
  examining Iowa's child welfare system.  After extensive study, the committee
  serious inadequacies in the state's procedures for termination of parental
  rights and

  What are some of the problems?
  ? Unacceptable delays,
  ? Children left in temporary placement too long,
  ? Judges do not have fast access to key information,
  ? Parents do not know the serious consequences of removal and placement, and
  ? Parties and their attorneys rarely confer before court hearings.

  With the help of juvenile justice professionals from around the state, the
  developed solutions to these problems.  Several proposals involve statutory
  that will speed up the adoption process and provide better information to
  parents.  I
  ask your approval of these proposals, which we will be furnishing to you.
  There are other proposals that require further study.  The committee
  more review hearings and less time between hearings.  These changes could
  improve judicial oversight of these cases if there are more judges to handle
  the extra
  hearings.  We have asked the committee to determine the number of judges
  that would
  be needed to accomplish its worthy goal.  We advise you to withhold acting
  on this
  specific recommendation pending the outcome of the committee's study.

  At this point, I want to briefly discuss our need for judges in general.  We
  appreciate your response to our requests for more judges in recent years.
  The added
  judge power has made a tremendous difference in our ability to administer
  Last fall, two of our districts asked that we include more judges in our
  budget request.
  We did not.  After a careful evaluation of our overall needs, we decided
  that support
  staff for our judges is a more critical need in our district or trial courts
  this year.  That
  support is needed in the offices of our clerks of district court and
  juvenile court
  services.  We also need more law clerks to help our judges with research and
  This year we will evaluate, with the help of our planning office, our need
  for judges.
  We will report our findings to you next year.

  We obviously must do what we can to attract and retain good judges.  We
  appreciate your strong support of judicial compensation and retirement
  requests over
  the years and hope that we can continue to count on your support this year.

  Now, I'd like to again switch gears and report on the progress that we've
  made with
  the help of technology.  We're proud of our statewide computer network which
  completed last September.  More than thirty clerk of district court offices
  computerized last year alone.  This achievement represents the culmination
  of more
  than ten years of planning and hard work by many people.  I want to thank
  commend you for your support over the years.

  It wasn't easy changing from a paper-based record keeping system to a
  based system.  There were many times in the early years of the program when
  thought we might have a revolt on our hands.  In fact, there were times when
  I thought
  I might lead the revolt!  But we made it through the tough times, and today
  we are one
  of few court systems in the country with a statewide computer network.

  The completion of our statewide computer network does not mean that our work
  finished.  The system must be updated, maintained, supported, and enhanced
  if we are
  to retain it and realize its full potential.

  Two of the promising technological innovations now within our grasp deserve
  special mention.

  IowAccess.  Think of accessing court records from the convenience of one's
  home or
  office.  Or what about specialized reports in a format generated to fit a
  specific needs?  Automation adds value to court information.  Justice Marsha
  Ternus of
  our court has been working with the IowAccess Project to explore the idea of
  these value added services.  It could turn into a revenue producing venture
  for the

  We're excited about an interface with the DOT which will completely automate
  processing of criminal citations from start to finish.  When issuing a
  citation, law
  enforcement officers armed with computers and scanners, will enter
  information about
  the citation into their computer systems.  At the end of the officer's
  shift, the
  information will be sent electronically to the appropriate clerk of district
  court office.
  The time consuming job of shuffling mountains of paper citations will be a
  thing of the

  It's easy to be overly enthralled by technology.  We're captivated by all
  the bells and
  whistles that promise to improve our productivity and public service.  While
  it's true
  that technology is dramatically changing the way the Judicial Branch does
  we must remember that it is just a tool to help us perform our basic
  function of
  resolving disputes in a dispassionate, well-reasoned manner.  It frees
  judges to perform
  their function in our independent branch of government.

  I was originally going to end my remarks here but I cannot cover the state
  of the
  judiciary today without talking about judicial independence.  The word
  refers to independence in decision-making.  Judicial independence means
  the law without fear of the consequence of political retribution.  Judges
  are under
  constant pressure to surrender their judicial independence and decide cases
  upon the popularity of a particular result or party.  Examples of this
  pressure are

  Last fall, America watched as Louise Woodward, a young British au pair
  accused of
  shaking to death an infant left in her charge, was tried for murder in
  Public opinion about the case seemed to change with the wind.  One day
  public opinion
  blamed the parents of the infant-especially the working mother-for the
  child's death.
  Another day, public opinion was sympathetic toward Woodward.  When the jury
  Woodward guilty of second-degree murder, Woodward's supporters expressed
  and condemned the justice system.

  One week after the jury verdict, the presiding judge, Hiller Zoebel, saying
  that he
  had erred, by not allowing the jury to consider the possibility of a
  conviction, changed the conviction to manslaughter and entered a jail
  sentence for only
  the time Woodward had already served.  Immediately, Judge Zoebel's decision
  criticized by the public as too lenient.  Arm chair legal scholars
  speculated that Judge
  Zoebel was swayed by public opinion.

  It would be inappropriate for me to join in the public debate about Judge
  decision, and I won't.  But it is proper for me to observe that this is a
  illustration of the impossibility of pleasing the court of public opinion.

  Judges must not test the winds of public opinion before entering a decision.
  are bound by their oath of office to render decisions based on the
  constitution and
  statutory law.  When there is disagreement about the meaning or application
  of a law,
  judges turn to well-established legal principles to guide their decisions.
  This is the rule
  of law.  Without the rule of law, our legal system would be unstable and

  Judicial independence ensures that judges uphold the law.  Judicial
  ensures that judges defy current popular opinion in favor of the
  principles established in our constitution.  Judicial independence ensures
  social order
  and stability.  It is of supreme importance to all citizens because it is
  the ligament
  which holds our justice system together.
  Unfortunately, there are forces working to undermine this important
  principle that
  has served our nation well for over two hundred years.  I'm talking about
  orchestrated campaigns to intimidate judges into entering decisions that
  favor specific
  outcomes over legal merits.  For example:

  ? Following the last general election, all Iowa Supreme Court justices
  copies of newspaper articles about the ouster of a Nebraska Supreme Court
  justice who was targeted for rulings that invalidated term limits for
  Nebraska elected officials.  The copies of the newspaper articles were from
  group called "Citizens for Common Sense Justice" out of Washington, D.C.
  Although the group didn't include a cover letter, its message was
  unmistakable- intimidation.

  ? Some of our district court judges have come under attack for their
  in hog lot cases.  These attacks are not based on the soundness of the
  legal analyses but on the critics' unhappiness with the outcome.  I've been
  told that anti-hog lot organizers, who came to the statehouse in November to
  attend the Supreme Court hearing of a hog lot case, reminded their followers
  to vote against the justices in the next retention election if the court
  rule in favor of the group's cause.

  ? Business associations in several Midwestern states have hired consultants
  evaluate judges for "anti-business" bias.

  ? During the 1996 presidential race, both candidates attacked a federal
  court judge in New York for his evidentiary ruling in a drug case.  The
  changed his order, forever calling into question his impartiality and

  These attacks and intimidation tactics do a grave disservice to the public.
  of the courts is not new and is to be expected.  For judges, criticism comes
  with the
  territory and we are entirely accustomed to it.  However, the kind of
  efforts I have just
  described threaten the integrity of our nation's justice system.

  Just what, then, is the condition of Iowa's judicial branch of government?
  The short
  answer is that it closely matches the condition of Iowa itself-good enough
  to be the
  source of pride but in constant need of attention.  Certain areas, such as
  juvenile court,
  need special attention just now.  Technology is an enormous help to Iowa's
  courts as we
  embark upon a new millennium.  Our greatest present threat is a frontal
  assault on
  judicial independence by some who would politicize and thereby destroy-or at
  severely damage-the courts' usefulness to our citizens.

  Finally, like our other two branches of government, courts do not belong to
  temporary incumbents but rather to the people who sent us all here.  Let us
  keep that
  foremost in our minds as we work together to make Iowa government a source
  lasting pride for us all.

  Chief Justice McGiverin was escorted from the House Chamber by
  the committee previously appointed.
  Representative Siegrist moved that the joint convention be
  dissolved, which motion prevailed by a voice vote.

  The Senate returned to the Senate Chamber.


  On motion of Senator Redwine, the Senate recessed at 11:36 a.m.,
  until 4:00 p.m.



  Convened:  January 13, 1998, 1:08 p.m.

  Members Present:  Lundby, Chair; Rittmer, Vice Chair; Hansen, Ranking
  Boettger, Flynn, McCoy, Redwine, and Rensink.

  Members Absent:  Douglas, Hammond, King, Palmer, and Schuerer (all excused).

  Committee Business:  Organizational meeting.

  Adjourned:  1:13 p.m.


  Convened:  January 14, 1998, 8:33 a.m.

  Members Present:  Rensink, Chair; McLaren, Vice Chair; Angelo, Bartz, Behn,
  Fraise, Gettings, Hedge, Kibbie, Rehberg, Rife, Vilsack, and  Zieman.

  Members Absent:  Judge, Ranking Member (excused).

  Committee Business:  Organizational meeting.

  Adjourned:  8:44 a.m.



  Final Bill Action:  SENATE FILE 2029 (SSB 2001), a bill for an act relating
  to the
  composition of the board of podiatry examiners.


  Final Vote:  Ayes, 13:  Rittmer, Borlaug, Kibbie, Deluhery, Drake, Fink,
  Harper, King, Lundby, McKibben, Rife, and Tinsman.  Nays, none.  Absent or
  voting, 2:  McLaren and Szymoniak.



  Senate File 2004

  NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT:  Fink, Chair; Hedge and McKibben
  Senate File 2005

  NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT:  Angelo, Chair; Bartz and Judge

  Senate File 2010

  NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT:  Rehberg, Chair; Borlaug and Judge

  Senate File 2015

  NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT:  Freeman, Chair; Dvorsky and Hedge

  Senate File 2017

  AGRICULTURE:  Bartz, Chair; Fraise and Hedge

  Senate File 2020

  AGRICULTURE:  Rensink, Chair; Kibbie and Rehberg

  Senate File 2027

  NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT:  Rehberg, Chair; Dearden and Zieman


  S-5005  S.F. 2022 Matt McCoy

  The Senate reconvened at 4:06 p.m., President Kramer presiding.


  Senator Iverson requested a non-record roll call to determine that
  a quorum was present.

  The vote revealed  43 present, 7 absent and a quorum present.

  (Regular Calendar)

  Senator Iverson asked and received unanimous consent to take up
  for consideration Senate File 2022.

  Senate File 2022

  On motion of Senator Drake, Senate File 2022, a bill for an act
  relating to the authority of the state transportation commission to
  temporarily transfer revitalize Iowa's sound economy (RISE) funds to
  the primary road fund and providing an effective date, was taken up
  for consideration.

  Senator McCoy offered amendment S-5005 filed by him from the
  floor, to page 1 of the bill and moved its adoption.

  Amendment S-5005 was adopted by a voice vote.

  Senator Drake moved that the bill be read the last time now and
  placed upon its passage, which motion prevailed by a voice vote and
  the bill was read the last time.

  On the question "Shall the bill pass?" (S.F. 2022) the vote was:

  Ayes, 49:

  Angelo Bartz Behn Black
  Boettger Borlaug Connolly Dearden
  Deluhery Douglas Drake Dvorsky
  Fink Flynn Fraise Freeman
  Gettings Gronstal Halvorson Hammond(np)
  Hansen Harper Hedge Horn
  Iverson Jensen Judge Kibbie
  King Kramer Lundby Maddox
  McCoy McKean McKibben McLaren
  Neuhauser Palmer Redfern Redwine
  Rehberg Rensink Rife Rittmer
  Schuerer Szymoniak Tinsman Vilsack

  Nays, none.

  Absent Or Not Voting, 0

  The bill having received a constitutional majority was declared to
  have passed the Senate and the title was agreed to.

  Senator Iverson asked and received unanimous consent that
  Senate File 2022 be immediately messaged to the House.


  Senate File 2028, by Schuerer, a bill for an act relating to
  restrictions on siting new sanitary landfills.

  Read first time and passed on file.

  Senate File 2029, by committee on State Government, a bill for
  an act relating to the composition of the board of podiatry examiners.

  Read first time and placed on calendar.

  Senate File 2030,  by Dvorsky, a bill for an act requiring a court
  to order a person convicted of domestic abuse assault to complete a
  batterers' treatment program, and to hold such person in contempt
  for failure to report for or complete treatment, and requiring related
  reporting of the status of treatment by the judicial district
  department of correctional services.

  Read first time and passed on file.

  Senate File 2031, by Dvorsky, a bill for an act relating to sexually
  violent predators.

  Read first time and passed on file.
  Senate File 2032, by Hedge, a bill for an act to legalize the
  proceedings of the board of directors of the Sigourney Community
  School District to sell certain school district property and providing
  effective and retroactive applicability dates.

  Read first time and passed on file.

  Senate File 2033, by Angelo, a bill for an act relating to elections
  to change the boundaries of director districts after dissolution of a
  school district.

  Read first time and passed on file.



  Convened:  January 14, 1998, 1:04 p.m.

  Members Present:  Rife, Chair; King, Vice Chair; Behn, Freeman, Horn,
  Palmer, Schuerer, and Zieman.

  Members Absent:  Dearden, Ranking Member; Gettings

  Committee Business:  Organizational meeting.

  Adjourned:  1:05 p.m.


  Convened:  January 14, 1998, 3:01 p.m.

  Members Present:  Jensen, Chair; Schuerer, Vice Chair; Deluhery, Ranking
  Bartz, Douglas, Flynn, Gronstal, King, Lundby, Maddox, McCoy, Palmer, and

  Members Absent:  Rife and Hansen (excused).

  Committee Business:  Distributed list of bills in committee.

  Adjourned:  3:10 p.m.


  Convened:  January 14, 1998, 2:15 p.m.

  Members Present:  Drake, Chair; Borlaug, Vice Chair; McCoy, Ranking Member;
  Connolly, Douglas, Fraise, Freeman, Gettings, Halvorson, Jensen, McKean, and

  Members Absent:  McKibben (excused)

  Committee Business:  Subcommittees were assigned to the following bills:
  S.F. 2023 (Jensen, Chair; Connolly and Douglas)
  S.F. 2024 (Drake, Chair; Borlaug and Connolly)

  Adjourned:  2:45 p.m.

  Senate File 2034, by McKibben and Drake, a bill for an act
  relating to compensation by manufacturers or distributors for
  warranty work on motor vehicles and vessels and providing a remedy.

  Read first time under Rule 28 and passed on file.

  Senate File 2035, by Kibbie, a bill for an act regulating
  implements of husbandry.

  Read first time under Rule 28 and passed on file.


  SSB 2002 Agriculture

  Relating to the state ceiling on the issuance of private activity
  bonds to administer programs by governmental entities, including the
  Iowa Agricultural development authority, and political subdivisions.


  President Kramer announced the assignment of the following bills
  to committee:

  S.F. 2028 Natural Resources and Environment
  S.F. 2030 Judiciary
  S.F. 2031 Judiciary
  S.F. 2032 Judiciary
  S.F. 2033 Education
  S.F. 2034 Transportation
  S.F. 2035 Agriculture

  HCR 25 Human Resources


  Senate File 17

  NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT:  Hedge, Chair; Fink and McKibben
  Senate File 390

  NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT:  Judge, Chair; Deluhery and Rehberg

  Senate File 468

  NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT:  Hedge, Chair; Dearden, Fink,
  McKibben, and Zieman

  Senate File 471

  NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT:  Freeman, Chair; Fink and McKibben

  Senate File 2023

  TRANSPORTATION:  Jensen, Chair; Connolly and Douglas

  Senate File 2024

  TRANSPORTATION:  Drake, Chair; Jensen and McCoy

  SCR 12

  NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT:  Bartz, Chair; Borlaug and Judge

  SSB 2002

  AGRICULTURE:  Bartz, Chair; Fraise and Hedge


  On motion of Senator Iverson the Senate adjourned at 4:19 p.m.,
  until 9:00 a.m., Thursday, January 15, 1998.
  3rd Day WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14, 1998 67

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