- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A commission would study where to house elderly people in Iowa who are sexually aggressive or combative, under a bill approved Thursday by a Senate panel.

Members of a human resources subcommittee discussed the merits of such a group, which would include representatives from multiple state departments. It now moves to a full committee for consideration.

According to the bill, the commission would explore different factors for housing such people. Among the issues are costs and whether a new facility should be built. The commission would be expected to present a report by the end of the year.

Several groups expressed support for the bill but also made suggestions for the study, including having a complete count of the intended population.

“We really need to zoom in on what the numbers look like,” said John Hale, a lobbyist for the consulting firm The Hale Group. “Are we talking about 100 people here or 1,000 or 10 people?”

Anthony Carroll, a lobbyist for the Iowa division of AARP, is registered as undecided for the bill. He said similar legislation introduced in past sessions has yielded little result. He encouraged more action rather than a study on the issue.

“For us, it’s about, could we actually consider legislation to do something about it, but that’s going to take funding,” he said.

Sen. Liz Mathis, a Democrat from Robins, who heads the human resources committee, said the bill will likely be amended as it moves forward.

“It feels like we just keep going around in a circle with this,” she said, in reference to previous legislation. “We’ve got to do something. We’ve got to take some action.”

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