Iowa Supreme Court to rule on mental health closures - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa Supreme Court to rule on mental health closures

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(KWWL) -

The Iowa Supreme Court heard arguments today on whether Gov. Branstad broke state law. Last year, Branstad vetoed a bill that would have kept two state mental health institutes open. 

Democratic lawmakers sued Branstad saying his veto was unconstitutional. 

In 2015, Gov. Branstad vetoed a bill providing millions of dollars in funding for two mental health institutes. His veto forced two hospitals in Mount Pleasant and Clarinda to close.

In his veto, Branstad said, "We can keep moving forward and serve Iowans with two mental health institutions rather than four."

Despite a bipartisan effort from legislators to provide money to keep them open, both facilities shut their doors in June 2015.

A Polk County judge originally ruled in Branstad's favor, saying "He acted within his constitutional authority." 

Now the Iowa supreme court is taking a second look, questioning whether or not Gov. Branstad's veto was proper and constitutional.

The lawsuit points to Iowa state code, which requires four specific mental health hospitals to operate.

Mount pleasant and Clarinda, are two on the list of hospitals in the state code. The other two on the list are Independence and Cherokee. 

Senator Chuch Grassley says it's a problem that isn't just limited to Iowa, but exists all over the country. 

No ruling was made today, but should be expected in the coming weeks.

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