INSIDERS: Bill Would Change How Iowa Funds Mental Health Care

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DES MOINES, IOWA – OCTOBER 09: The Iowa State Capitol building is seen on October 09, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Part 1

Last week, Republicans in the Iowa Senate passed a bill that would change the source of funding for mental health care in the state. The bill would shift funding from county property taxes to a state-funded system instead. The bill is headed to the Iowa House where its future is uncertain.

Peggy Huppert is the executive director for the Iowa chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. As a mental health leader in Iowa, Huppert thinks a combination of state and local funding for mental health care would be best.

Part 2

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports more than 773,000 Iowans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It is welcome news for Iowa’s small business owners who are eager to see more customers return.

A new survey from the National Federation of Independent Business paints a much more optimistic picture for Iowa business owners than this time last year. While 13% of small business owners fear they will have to close their doors if the economy doesn’t improve next month, that number was 25% back in December.

Part 3

Lorena Schulte and Robert McFarland may have given their lives trying to stop two inmates from escaping from the Anamosa State Penitentiary last month. The state workers union and governor agree that prisons need more funding.

WHO 13 requested records from the Iowa Department of Corrections for the Anamosa State Penitentiary. In the past decade, the staff to inmate ratio has narrowed. The ratio was one staff member for about every four inmates a decade ago. Lately, it’s closer to one staffer for every three inmates.

Part 4

Matt Everson, the Iowa state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, returns for this week’s Insiders Quick 6.

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