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SENATE VOTES TO END ACCESSIBLE PARKING ABUSES

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In order to park in an accessible parking spot, you must have a permit.  You can get that permit with a doctor's note, and it can be either permanent (non-expiring) or temporary.  These accessible parking placards are hung from a car's review mirror. A placard is only to be used by the person that was issued it. 

Legislators have heard stories about family members who will use the placards even if they do not have a disability, or of others that keep them after the person issued the permit has died.  The Iowa Department of Transportation has no way of tracking this misuse, or getting the placards back.

Last year, the Iowa House unanimously passed a bill (House File 588) that would no longer allow these non-expiring permits.  Instead, individuals will be issued a placard good for five years.  The placard could be renewed every five years with a note from their doctor, physician assistant, nurse practitioner or chiropractor.  On Wednesday (March 16) the Iowa Senate passed the bill 47-2 (Sen. Rich Taylor & Sen. Steve Sodders voting "no"). 

Normally the bill would head straignt to the Govenror's desk for a signature, but the Senate made a small amendment to change the dates in the bill since its passage was delayed by a year.  The bill will only affect placards authorized after January 1, 2017 (the bill had said January 1, 2016).  Expect the House to take it up quickly when they return next week.