- Associated Press - Friday, May 8, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is supporting a proposal to switch two state mental health facilities to private care next year.

Reps. Dave Heaton and Cecil Dolecheck say Friday there’s an agreement with Branstad’s office and the state Department of Human Services to keep state-funded services available at facilities in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant through Dec. 15. It includes psychiatric services at Clarinda and substance abuse services at Mount Pleasant.

State officials would then secure private health providers to operate the facilities in 2016.

Democratic Sen. Amanda Ragan, chairwoman of the Health and Human Services Appropriations subcommittee, says she needs to review the proposal.

Branstad’s budget proposal removed funding for the facilities starting in July. His spokesman says the delay is a compromise to help patients and employees with the transition.

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