Iowa Gov. defends veto of pension funding

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad is defending his decision to veto some funding for public safety pensions and mental health services.

Branstad spoke Monday during his weekly press conference. He says he vetoed a provision backed by the General Assembly to put about $91 million into the public safety retirement fund because he wants to see changes to the system. He had no specific suggestions, but said a “thoughtful review” was needed.

The fund has about 61 percent of the dollars needed to pay projected pension obligations. The measure would have increased that to 80 percent.

Branstad also vetoed a plan to provide $13 million to counties for mental health services as they transition to a new regional system. He says the state has provided ample funding over the past two years.

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