A Des Moines couple fought back tears numerous times appearing before an Iowa house judiciary subcommittee. Jamie and Shanda Geneser's 4-year-old daughter, Hannah, died two years ago after falling from a third floor bedroom window, while she played at a relatives' home during a birthday party. The window had a screen but it wasn't strong enough to hold her back. The Genesers want lawmakers to mandate a stronger, thicker window screen in multi-family dwellings, hotels and motels.
Supporters say the windows cost more, but builders could recoup their costs in as little as five years because they are more durable and less resistant to holes. Shanda Geneser told lawmakers about the difficulty the couple still has speaking about what happened versus the benefit of pushing a public conversation. She said, "The magnitude of our voices in preventing future falls...but we are repeatedly pushed back into our worst nightmares."
The couple acknowledges some homebuilders have questions about costs and the mandate to make the building changes.
The subcommittee passed the bill but it still faces an uncertain future. Lawmakers are down to their final scheduled month of work and still have major work to do on the budget and health, tax and education reform.