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Background check requirement for ice cream truck drivers fails to pass Iowa Senate

Democrats in the Iowa Senate last night rejected a Republican effort to protect kids from ice cream truck drivers who might be pedophiles. Republicans tried to attach a provision to a spending bill that would allow employers to run background checks on suspicious drivers.

Senator Tim Kapucian, a Republican from Keystone, says employers should be able to check up on the people they hire. “Just a month or six weeks ago, there was an incident in Florida where a young child was abducted and sexually molested by an ice cream truck driver,” Kapucian says. “We don’t need those types of things here in Iowa.”

Two young cousins from the Waterloo suburb of Evansdale were snatched during a bike ride last summer and murdered — in a case that remains unsolved. Kapucian says those who wish to do children harm might see an opportunity in the warm weather icon.

“There are ice cream trucks that drive up and down our streets and they’re like a pied piper,” he says. “The music plays and the kids come running out to buy ice cream. All the owner of the company wants to do is have the ability to do a little better background check.”

Democrats called the Republican provision “flawed” and did not attach it to the wide-ranging spending bill, which passed on a party-line vote and was sent to the Iowa House.