"We must fulfill our obligation to Iowa's most vulnerable by taking care of them and their caretakers," said Anderson. "I'm confident that discussions will continue and Director Palmer will continue working towards a goal of keeping the same number of beds and staff at the Cherokee Mental Health Institute."
Palmer, a Republican, was appointed DHS chief by newly-elected Republican Governor Terry Branstad last week.
Last week the Iowa Department of Human Services announced they will have to make over $27 million in cuts, or nine percent of its budget, in order to comply with the cuts enacted by Governor Culver and Legislative Democrats last year. As proposed, this means that the Cherokee Mental Health Institute must cut 46.3% of its budget, reduce the number of beds by 12, and cut $2.4 million. The cuts must be enacted by June 30, 2011.