BUDGET BILL: Juvenile Home Reopening Dropped

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Efforts to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home this session are now dead.

State leaders say they will move forward with a Health and Human Services budget bill without a provision meant to reopen the facility.

Earlier this month, the Senate added an amendment to reinstate programming at the home. But it was removed in order to pass the budget.

Governor Branstad ordered the current home in Toledo to close in January following complaints about the use of isolation rooms.

Democratic Senator Jack Hatch says despite the failed effort to reopen the home, there have been some improvements made to the system.

“We have established through this bill a tracking system so we know where all delinquent girls were, where they were placed, if they had multiple placements. We start tracking them to see where they failed and succeeded in the places that they had. That will give us some data on whether the existing system is good for them,” the Democratic gubernatorial candidate said.

Four state senators, including Hatch, and the head of AFSCME filed a lawsuit earlier this year to reopen the home.

The Iowa Supreme Court will hear that case later this summer.


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