The Iowa Senate on Thursday approved legislation to transform Iowa’s 99-county system for providing mental-health services into a more uniform, statewide system, but changes made by Senate Democrats have thrown the future of the bill in doubt.
Senators approved Senate File 525 on a 36-9 vote with little debate or dissent.
A bill signed into law earlier by Gov. Terry Branstad repeals the current state system of delivering mental-health services and the property tax levy that pays for those services as of July 1, 2013. Senate File 525 starts the process of creating a new system.
“This makes this bill rather significant,” said state Sen. Jack Hatch, D-Des Moines. “Without a new program, without a new structure, a new system, and new funding in place, we would be in a basket full of trouble.”
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