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Lawmaker: Iowa Mental Health Center will Close

DES MOINES (AP) - An Iowa lawmaker who pushed for a review of Iowa's four mental health institutions says the Legislature will likely vote to close at least one of them despite a task force recommendation that all should stay open.

State Sen. Jack Hatch, a Des Moines Democrat, says with the state's budget crisis, it's likely one or two of the institutions will be identified for closure.

Hatch is chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee. He spoke Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press, a day after a task force recommended against closing any of the facilities. The group instead called for expanding community-based services for mentally ill people.

Hatch says if a facility is closed, those services would be consolidated in the remaining institutions.

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