Three mental health bills stall in Iowa Senate

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) – Three mental health bills face an uphill battle in the Iowa Legislature.

They passed the Iowa House with sweeping bipartisan support, but they’ve stalled in the Senate.

One bill expands loan forgiveness for mental health providers in the state. A second bill would require a lower Medicaid rate for those needing a higher level of psychiatric care. The third bill would add 12 new psychiatric residency programs through the University of Iowa.

Republicans and Democrats both agree they need to address mental health care.

They say there’s still time for these bills to pass before the end of the legislative session.

“Absolutely, there’s time,” State Sen. Joe Bolkcom (D) said. “There’s budget negotiations going on now. All of these bills are fairly low cost.”

“I don’t know if there’s one legislator out there that this is not a priority in their district,” State Rep. Ann Meyer (R) said.

The legislative session could end in the next couple of weeks. Lawmakers hope to wrap up by Easter.

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