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'Tremendous' Changes Come To Iowa's Mental Health Care System

Newsbuzz: Changes to mental health funding, a triple homicide in Cedar Rapids and a COVID-19 update.

Calling it "landmark tax reform legislation," Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a wide-ranging tax bill into law last week. Among the changes is who foots the bill for the state's mental health care system.

Iowa counties once set a property tax levy to fund the 14 mental health regions, which in turn provide services to the residents of its member counties. But under the new system, these regions would be funded through the state's general fund.

More: Reynolds tax law doesn't just impact mental health funding, it speeds up income tax cuts.

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with one advocate for the change, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Iowa's executive director Peggy Huppert, Kieffer asks how a tax cut might manifest more reliable funding for mental health care.

We also get an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, some 2022 elections analysis, reflections from a longtime Juneteenth organizer on it becoming a national holiday and the story behind a triple homicide in Cedar Rapids—the first since the 80s. Lastly, we groove into the weekend with IPR Studio One host Cece Mitchell.


  • Ryan Foley, reporter, The Associated Press
  • Peggy Huppert, executive director of NAMI Iowa
  • Michaela Ramm, reporter, The Cedar Rapids Gazette
  • Donna Hoffman, political scientist, University of Northern Iowa
  • LaTasha DeLoach, founder and longtime organizer of Iowa City’s Juneteenth celebration
  • Cece Mitchell, host, IPR Studio One Tracks
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa