Iowa Senate approves health and human services budget - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa Senate approves health and human services budget

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The Democratic-led Iowa Senate has approved a $1.9 billion spending plan for the state health and human services departments, which includes an oversight committee to watchdog the governor's plan to privatize Medicaid.
  
The budget was approved in a 26-22 vote Wednesday. It provides slightly less funding than sought by Gov. Terry Branstad, but more than the proposal from the Republican-controlled House. The plan includes funding for Medicaid, public health programs and veterans.
  
Sen. Amanda Ragan, a Mason City Democrat, said the bill would create an oversight committee to supervise the governor's plan to privatize Medicaid services. The legislation also includes dollars to keep two mental health institutions open that Branstad has slated for closure, with most of the money coming from federal grant funding.

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