Gov. Terry Branstad signed a bill Thursday — passed in the Iowa House and Senate in February — that would provide an additional $11.6 million in mental-health funding to 26 of the 32 counties in Iowa that applied. Union County is one of those counties that applied for the transitional mental-health funding.
Jack Drake, R-Griswold, is one of the legislators who voted in favor of the bill. The bill passed 58-42 in the Iowa House in mid-February.
“There is no question this will help counties who applied,” Drake said. “This money is for unpaid bills that have accumulated on local counties including Union County. This will be a big help because counties would have had to pay those bills with tax money otherwise.”
Under the bill, Union County will receive an additional $597,792 to help avoid shortfalls in mental-health services as Iowa is shifting from county to regional delivery of mental health care. Union County Auditor Sandy Hysell said of that supplemental $597,792 the county has about $300,000 in state bills in need of payment.
“It’s a big relief knowing the county is receiving that money,” Hysell said.
Other counties in the Creston News Advertiser area approved to receive additional funding are Taylor ($318,252), Adams ($150,742), Adair ($140,478) and Clarke ($22,347).