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      State lawmakers answer questions from the public in Ottumwa

      Community members gathered at the monthly League of Women Voters forum Saturday morning at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa.

      The last forum held focused more on educational issues and the proposed gas tax. However, Saturday's forum was different; questioned from the community focused more on gun laws and mental health reform.

      Fairfield Representative Curt Hanson spoke with KTVO after the forum. Hanson wanted to set the record straight on why the Democratic Caucus left the state capitol this past week after a constitutional amendment was proposed concerning Iowa's gun laws, including the right to carry firearms.

      "I think that this was a very unusual move because it was a very unusual bill, and to attract media attention and to attract the public's attention that this is a very over the top type of thing that we needed to do that. We left the campus where we could caucus without having reporters beating down our doors all the time, and asking us what was the plan to do about this, and so forth. So, we went off campus and discussed it in a very calm manor and returned to campus and returned to the capitol where it was debated and passed," stated Hanson.

      Saturday's forum was also State Representative Kurt Swaim's last. His district was re-drawn to include portions of Representative Hanson's district, therefore he decided not to seek re-election.