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Bill to stop the public from hearing 911 calls revived in Iowa Legislature

Three-person panel to review proposal on Tuesday.

Posted: Mar. 4, 2018 1:44 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Legislature is reviving a bill that would limit the public's access to many 911 calls.

The Republican-controlled Iowa Senate put the measure on hold last year amid concerns about its far-reaching implications for accessing records. More than eight weeks into the session, a three-person panel is scheduled Tuesday to review it.

The legislation would declare that audio, video and transcripts of 911 calls involving injured people are confidential medical records and exempt from Iowa's open records law. If enacted, authorities' initial response to shootings, stabbings and many other incidents could face less public scrutiny. Another provision would make calls involving minors automatically confidential.

The GOP-controlled Iowa House passed the bill last year with bipartisan support. A Republican senator who will oversee the bill said the proposal needs changes.

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