Lawmaker: Atalissa case shows need for new law - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Lawmaker: Atalissa case shows need for new law

DES MOINES (KWWL) - A legislator wants to toughen Iowa's whistleblower protections in response to an eastern Iowa case in which 21 mentally disabled men from Texas were paid little for their work at a meatpacking plant and lived in a dilapidated house.

Iowa City Representative Vicki Lensing said she's asked staffers to draft legislation expanding protection for those who report inaction or wrongdoing. Her announcement came two days after officials in Atalissa told a legislative panel that several years ago they'd notified a Human Services Department office about dangerous conditions at the house.

The state took no action.

The Government Oversight Committee is investigating the matter but agreed Thursday to a delay until the Division of Criminal Investigations completes its inquiry.

Online Executive Producer Nate Leding

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