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REGIONAL MH/DS SERVICES AT RISK

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Funding for locally-managed mental health and disability services (MH/DS) has been an issue for legislators since the state intervened in the system in 1995. Legislators have never been able to pass a plan that secured permanent, sustainable funding for the system that is now managed by 15 MH/DS regions.  

The MH/DS regional system is now at an important crossroads.  If a long-term solution to funding is not passed this year, services that help thousands of Iowans live and work in their communities of choice are at risk.  The Iowa State Association of Counties and many advocacy organizations are asking Iowa legislators to give counties local control over their MH/DS budgets.  They want locally elected county supervisors to be able to set their property taxes where they need to be to meet the needs of their population - not legislators who are maintaining a system thats funding is frozen at 1995 levels.  

The Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) and many advocacy organizations (including the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council) are working together this year to encourage legislators to allow local control for MH/DS funding.  They are asking legislators to allow counties to set their own budgets and property tax levels for these important, life-saving and life-enhancing services.  

Want to learn more? 

No bills have been introduced yet, but there is a lot of discussion going on right now. As you know, there isn't a lot of money to help at the state level, so this is the year to fix this once and hopefully for all.