Senate Approves Money for Mental Health Transition

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By Ryan Jones

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State senators approved a bill that would give some counties a share of $11.6 million to continue treatment of mental health patients as the state transitions to a regional system.

The Senate approved the measure Wednesday by a 40 to 5 vote with some Republicans and Democrats against the bill, which aids 26 of the 32 counties seeking extra funding to get them through this fiscal year.

The one-time appropriation now goes to Gov. Terry Branstad for his signature. Branstad earlier voiced support for $3.8 million, a figure recommended by the Department of Human Services.

Sen. Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids spoke in support of the bill Wednesday, saying such a level of funding is needed because the mental health services in the state are approaching a "crisis situation."

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