Bill Would End State Law Requiring Hotel Inspections Every Other Year

Des Moines, Iowa — The state law requiring state inspection of hotels and motels every other year is likely to be repealed soon.

State officials haven’t been doing inspections that frequently and the Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals and Licensing has proposed that hotel inspections be triggered by customer complaints. Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate have sent the governor a bill to accomplish that goal. Senator Carrie Koelker, a Republican from Dyersville, says state inspections of hotels and motels are prioritized according to the kind of complaints.

Democrats opposed the move and many who spoke during debate mentioned bed bug problems. Senator Tony Bisignano of Des Moines says the bill sends the wrong signal.

Senator Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, says he got the willies when he checked into a southeast Iowa hotel due to dirty sheets and a filthy bathroom.

Koelker, the bill’s floor manager, says the hotel Dotzler described was alarming, but Koelker says most hotels are part of chains that have higher standards than state law.

The Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals and Licensing has the authority to inspect 580 hotels in the state, with 22 people on staff to inspect hotels as well as food processing plants, food establishments, and home-based food businesses.


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