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Senate panel approves mental health spending bill

Published On: Apr 09 2013 03:59:12 PM CDT
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -

An Iowa Senate panel has approved a bill that funds the state's new regionalized mental health care system.

The Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously passed the measure Tuesday and it now moves to the full Senate. The measure would provide more than $29 million in state funding over the next fiscal year for counties to administer mental health services not covered by Medicaid.

It's the next step in funding a plan to coordinate mental health care on a region-based system. Counties would get about $18 million starting July 1 and another $11 million in January.

The bill also creates a board to develop strategies to improve children's health in the state called the Children's Cabinet. It would be comprised of the state Department of Human Services, lawmakers and community members.

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