Governor Signs Legislation To Address Mental Health Workforce Shortage

Statewide Iowa — Governor Kim Reynolds has signed two bills into law that are designed to address a lack of treatment options for Iowans seeking mental health care services. One bill sets up a loan repayment program for students who agree to work in an underserved area of Iowa after they get a degree in the mental health field. Representative Timi Brown-Powers of Waterloo says it will hopefully boost the number of mental health professionals working in rural Iowa.

The other new law will let a state board issue provisional licenses to doctoral students in psychology, so they can practice during their internship with a license psychologist. Senator Jeff Edler of State Center says it’s another in a long line of bills that have addressed the workforce shortage in the mental health field.

Governor Kim Reynolds signed a total of 21 bills into law on Monday. One will let adults with liability insurance drive all-terrain vehicles on two-lane primary highways — if ATVs are equipped with headlights. Another will increase the state incentive to school districts that share superintendents, special education directors, and school resource officers.