The Iowa General Assembly begins its session January 13, 2020 at 8:00 am.
FUAN will continue to add articles and other research resources to this page to add to your understanding of the bill.
Bookmark this page and check back often because the recommendations and bill language may change throughout the session.
The subject is the discontinuation of the practice of suspending driver’s license or traveling privileges for unpaid child support.
- It inhibits the ability to work and/or find work when sanctioned.
- It does not help promote payments of fines and fees.
- Iowa's current practices concerning driver's license sanctions for non-payment of child support portrays parents with support orders as individuals who don't want to support their children. It portrays them as parents who refuse to support their children until the State coerces them into complying. The law is out of touch with indigent parents who lack the financial means to pay despite being willing.
- The entire point of having state licensing laws is based on the idea of public safety, not to punish noncriminal offenses. However, this is exactly what happens and these laws affect the ability of people to find or keep steady employment. As most already know, Iowa is largely a rural state where most have to commute from small towns where jobs are scarce to larger cities across the state that offer greater opportunities to work. Lack of public transportation and distances too far to walk make driving the only option to get to and from employment. Without a license, most people can't work and when this happens, they fall deeper into debt.
- Suspending licenses for debt punishes people for being poor. Through the use of circular logic, the State prohibits the ability of parents from traveling to and from their places of employment, then punishes them for not being able to pay their full share of support. Children deserve support but taking away the ability of parents to make a living does nothing to help the children’s lives. Instead, it traps parents in their homes and puts them at risk of criminal charges if they drive (which 75% of people with suspended driver's licenses already do). This discriminatory practice that is fueled through Title-IV-D department funding and lucrative incentive bonuses puts the financial agenda of the State ahead of the privileges and immunities of parents and families across Iowa to pursue and obtain their happiness in the manner that they see fit.
The need to amend §598 of the Iowa Code arises from the point of counter productivity resulting from current driver's license suspension policies that, without a doubt, lessen the ability to find work, as well as the ability to maintain work for those that are already employed. In rural communities, which includes a significant portion of Iowa, decent employment can only be found in the more metropolitan areas of the state.
Thus, suspension of license for non-payment of support severely limits the many people who are seeking or already have jobs that require driving distances. In addition, not having a valid license can disqualify a person from applying for certain jobs, particularly in the healthcare and construction fields, where often it is a precondition for employment.
The lack of a license can keep a family stuck in a situation of dependence, disconnection, and hopelessness. Oftentimes, the loss of a license is caused more by poverty and the inability to pay support than it is by a willful disregard of the law, and, as license suspension has increasingly become a common sanction for non-driving and non-safety related offenses, more and more families get caught up in a web that affects those that need help most, such as the poor and minorities.
By amending §598 of the Iowa Code, it will allow people to continue to search for work, to maintain employment needed to pay the child support in question, and stop making payee’s into criminals for matters that do not reflect driving ability or public safety.
- Human Resources
- DHS, Adoption and Foster Agencies
- Juvenile Corrections
- Local and State Police Departments
- Schools for all ages and curriculums
- Counselors, Psychologists, and other Medical Professionals would be affected.
- Family members
- Friends, and Other Community Members that associate with those going through a custodial division
- Local churches
- Homeless shelters, or Other service agencies that deal with troubled youth or families in need would be interested.
The listing of the following people, organizations, state departments and offices in no way implies agreement or disapproval with the recommendations of FUAN. It is to simply acknowledge that in person contact was made, and discussion relevant to our causes and concerns were addressed during those encounters.
Members of the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary Branches, ISBA, and Iowa Department of Human Services have been consulted which includes but is not limited to the following individuals:
1. President, Donald Trump
2. Iowa NAACP
2. Iowa ACLU
3. Dr. Linda Nelson
4. Charles Palmer Former Director DHS
5. Vern Armstrong DHS
6. Wendi Rickman DHS
7. President of “The Fatherless Generation, Dr. Torri Barton
8. Attorney Connie Reguli
9. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
10. Former Gov. of West Virginia, Garry Johnson
11. Former Congressman David Young
12. House of Representatives Oversight Committee
13. Representatives and members of the Supreme and District Courts
14. Diane Dornburg ISBA
15. Iowa Citizen For Justice
16. Forensic Psychologist – Attorney Demosthenes Lorandos
17. The Iowa Supreme Court
18. Iowa Fathers Association
19. Attorney, Jacob Van Cleaf
20. Attorney Kerry Finley
21. Attorney Daniel Herting
22. Representative Ruth Ann Gaines
23. Representative Bobby Kaufmann
24. Former Representative Dan Kelly
25. Representative John Forbes
26. Representative Timi Brown-Powers
27. Representative Liz Bennett
28. Former Representative Ken Rizer
28. Former Representative Walt Rodgers
29. Representative Chris Hagenow
30. Representative Mary Wolfe
31. Representative Deborah Barry
32. Senator Ted Cruz
33. Senator Rick Santorum
34. Senator Rand Paul
35. Senator Joni Ernst
36. Senator Charles (Chuck) Grassley
37. President of TERM- The Fathers Rights Movement, Thomas Fidler
38. TV host, John Harvey
39. Representative Ako Abdul-Samad
40. Former Representative Chip Baltimore
41. Former Representative Clel Baudler
42. Representative Terry Baxter
43. Representative Brian Best
44. Representative Josh Byrnes
45. Former Representative Peter Cownie
46. Representative Chris Hall
47. Representative David Heaton
48. Former Representative Jake Highfill
49. Representative Steven Holt
50. Representative Jerry Kerry
51. Former Representative Kevin Keoster
52. Representative Zach Nunn
53. Representative Rick Olson
54. Representative Sandy Salmon
55. Representative Mike Sexton
56. Representative Mark Smith
57. Representative Art Staed
58. Former Representative Sally Stutsman
59. Former Representative Rob Taylor
60. Former Representative Ralph Watts
61. Attorney Tom Feigen
62. Desmund Adams
63. Former Jimmy Carter Administration employee, Robert Krause
64. President of IFPP-lowa Family Preservation Project,
65. L.E.A.P — Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
66. Asian & Latino Coalition
67. Renaissance Center of Iowa
68. Family Leader
69. Sherry Palmer- PHD
70. Senator Jason Schultz
71. Former Senator Mike Gronstal
72. Senator Tony Bisignano
73. Former Senator Todd Bowman
74. Charles Schneider
75. Senator Brad Zaun
76. Senator Mark Castello
77. Former Senator Dick Dearden
78. Senator Jeff Danielson
79. Former Senator Rita Hart
80. Senator Robert Hogg
81. Senator Pam Jochum
82. Senator Kevin Kinney
83. Senator Liz Mathis
84. Senator Matt McCoy
85. Senator Janet Petersen
86. Senator Amy Sinclair
87. Former Senator Steve Sodders
88. Senator Rich Taylor
89. Senator Jack Whitver
90. Various Spiritual leaders throughout Iowa
91. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’malley
92. Missouri Gov. Nixon
93. Clive Police Lieutenant Mario Colman
94. Jerry Foxhoven, Iowa DHS
95. Representative Abby Finkenauer
96. Nathaniel Gavronsky
97. Daniel Zeno ACLU
98. Dawn Turner district 2 Regional Supervisor
99. Gary Bucher Owner of Mid Iowa Occupational Testing
100. Sharon Steckman Representative
101. Harold Colman – Iowa Child Support Recovery Unit
102. Other respected community leaders and organizations and residents all over the state
Mention of a name indicates that individual is supportive of the issue but not necessarily in agreement with the specific language proposed.
• The Iowa Medical Association
• Leading Women For Shared Parenting
• National Parents Organization
• Americans For Equal Shared Parenting
• Iowa Family Preservation Project
• The Fathers Rights Movement-TFRM
• Fix Family Courts USA
• Family Court Reform USA
• Restoring Freedom USA
There is no known opposition to the abolishment of incarceration for unpaid fines, restitution, or child support.at this time.