A state senator is threatening to keep the Iowa legislature in session until Governor Terry Branstad’s administration answers more questions about teens who were in the now-closed Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo and delinquent teenagers who would be sent there by the courts if the facility were still open. State Senator Steve Sodders (SAW-derz), a Democrat from State Center, represents the Toledo area.
Sodders says the legislature’s ability to act has been stymied because the Branstad Administration has failed to turn over documents that were requested on January 15th.
Sodders, who also is a deputy sheriff in Marshall County, suggested the legislature is considering legal action to get the Branstad Administration to respond to its request for records.
A spokesman for the governor says Iowa’s attorney general, who is a Democrat, is “carefully reviewing” the request for documents and will respond to legislators “soon.” Branstad communications director Jimmy Centers also notes Sodders is one of five legislators suing the governor for closing the Iowa Juvenile Home. The Senate has passed a bill that does not call for re-opening the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo, but does call for some sort of state-run facility for delinquent girls. Branstad has said private facilities are capable of caring for the delinquent teenage girls who’s committed crimes and who often are a danger to themselves and others.