Governor Kim Reynolds Makes Stop In Spirit Lake As Part Of A Swing Through Northwest Iowa

Thu 10-1-2020

(Spirit Lake)-- Governor Kim Reynolds made a stop this (Thurs.) afternoon in Spirit Lake as part of her two-day tour of northwest Iowa. The Governor spoke with staff members and clients at Lakes LifeSkills, which provides behavioral health therapy services and counseling. She addressed funding for mental health and counseling services...Reynolds' visit01 

"You know we had some additional increase for the providers in our budget and then with the suspended session we weren't able necessarily to do that, but I took CARES funding and actually put funding towards that. So that's kind of a stopgap until we can get back into the legislative session and take a look at what we need to do to really, you know, have that be a wage where they can get that workforce. Workforce is just an issue across the board."

The Governor added the COVID-19 pandemic is only fueling the demand for mental health services...Reynolds' visit02 

"You know as we move into 2021 there's going to be a lot of behavioral health issues just from the isolation, from delayed care. So we know that, you know, even with substance abuse. Just multiple issues. So we're trying to figure out, you know, I put $50 million into mental health with covid dollars because we know that this is going to be something that's going to kind of be an aftermath of covid, and so we want to make sure that we're ready for that and that we're able to meet the need."

The Governor said she's also been visiting with small business owners during her trek across northwest Iowa and how they're faring through the covid crisis...Reynolds' visit03 

"I've had a lot of them tell me they're actually seeing sales ahead of where they were last year. A lot of community support. Not everybody. It kind of depends on the sector and the industry. But one thing that has been consistent especially with a lot of the main street businesses is just that I think the community support. They don't want to lose them and so they're trying to do everything they can to help support them and keep them up and running and open for when we get through this."

The Governor also made stops today (Thurs.) in Algona, Emmetsburg and Estherville. Tomorrow (Fri.) she heads to Le Mars, Sutherland, Sibley and Alvord.