Branstad Noncommittal On Legislation Following Teen’s Death

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds won’t promise to immediately support legislation to improve oversight of the state’s child protective services, following news reports of a 16-year-old who was allegedly tortured and starved to death.

Spokesman Ben Hammes says Branstad and Reynolds are open to “conversations” about making improvements to the current oversight system. Hammes added that Branstad and Reynolds would wait on lawmakers to introduce proposals.

Branstad was asked Monday about the October death of Natalie Finn, of West Des Moines. Prosecutors say the girl, who was homeschooled, was tortured and starved by her parents.

The Republican governor says it’s important for the Iowa Department of Human Services to investigate alleged child abuse. But he also says DHS must protect the rights of parents and families.

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