Iowa House passes Children's Mental Health bill

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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) -- A bill that would create a mental health services program for children is moving on to the Iowa Senate. The house overwhelmingly passed it Thursday afternoon, 84 to 14.

The bill would create a mental health system similar to the current one for adults.That would include a board to track and oversee children's mental health data.

Iowa City Democrat Mary Mascher was one of the 14 no votes in the House. She called the bill a "step in the right direction." but says she needs to know more specifics about funding before she supports it.

"Until we know where those dollars are coming from, we should all feel a little bit insecure about supporting something when we don't know how it's going to be funded. Those are critical critical discussions," said Mascher.

Mascher says the bill isn't clear on whether funding would come from counties or the state.

A children's mental health system is one of Governor Reynolds' top priorities for 2019.

In a statement, the Governor said, "We are one step closer to an integrated health care system that recognizes children's mental health needs. We've been talking about this for decades, but now is the time to act."

The bill needs to pass the Senate before the governor can sign it.