- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa Senate committee has approved a bill requiring employers to give time off to non-essential workers so they can attend Iowa’s presidential caucuses.

The State Government Committee in the Democratic-controlled Senate approved the bill Wednesday. It would mandate that employers provide unpaid leave to workers who want to attend their precinct caucus. There are exemptions for jobs that affect public health or safety, or if employers could show that they would experience economic distress.

The legislation will move to the full Senate. It is not clear how it will fare in the Republican-controlled House.

The Iowa Democratic Party supports the bill as part of an effort to expand caucus attendance. The Republican Party of Iowa has declined to offer an opinion.

Iowa’s presidential caucuses are scheduled for February 2016.

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