Nearly 300 people in Winneshiek County receive services through the county's mental health and developmental disabilities programs. But the way they receive those services could be changing. The Iowa Legislature is studying a plan to regionalize MH/DD programs, forming groups of counties that would share the costs of providing services on a regional basis.
Thursday morning in West Union, supervisors from eight NE Iowa counties will meet to discuss what impact this regionalization might have.
State officials have been studying a regionalization plan because the legislature decided the existing system, under which each county is responsible for its own MH/DD programs, will cease to exist as of July 1st, 2013. A study group has been meeting to work out details of a regional system.
Some county officials are nervous that the regional system would not work well in rural areas like NE Iowa. Ohters have questions about the impact it would have on property taxes. Some state legislators have said that every county should pay into the system at the same rate. MH/DD regions would set up one checking account, with all participating counties paying into the account and all costs paid through the account.
A summary of the proposal is available at http://dhs.state.ia.us/Partners/MHDSRedesign.html