- Associated Press - Friday, April 25, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate has passed a Democrat-sponsored bill that guarantees state workers expanded whistleblower protections and addresses other issues including secret settlement agreements, and hiring and firing practices.

The bill passed 26-22 after several Republican amendments were rejected. It’s survival in the Republican-led House is questionable.

Republicans opposed the bill because it does not include their proposal to open state employee records so the public would know what a worker did wrong to get fired.

Oversight Committee Chairwoman Janet Petersen, a Democrat, says disclosing that information could open the state to lawsuits.

The bill makes it illegal to fire, demote or inflict other reprisal for reporting mismanagement or other problems.

The measure prohibits confidentiality in employee settlement agreements and state hiring and firing practices would be revised.


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