- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Layoff notices are going out to employees at a state mental health institution in Mount Pleasant that is slated for closure.

Department of Human Services spokeswoman Amy McCoy says Thursday that notices had gone out to 36 workers. The layoffs will be effective April 6. There currently are about 74 people working at the facility.

Under Gov. Terry Branstad’s proposed budget, funding would be eliminated for mental health facilities in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant. Branstad says the hospitals are old and that people can seek mental health treatment from other providers, including two state mental health institutions in Cherokee and Independence.

Democratic lawmakers say the Republican governor is ignoring the fact that the Legislature appropriated money for the institutions. A Branstad spokesman says the change will lead to better care.

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