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      League of Women Voters host forum at Bridge View Center

      At Ottumwa's Bridge View Center on Saturday, people throughout southeast Iowa participated in a League of Women Voters forum.

      State Representatives Mary Gaskill of Ottumwa, Curt Hanson of Fairfield and Kurt Swaim of Bloomfield participated; as well as State Senator Mark Chelgren.

      The forum gave the public a chance to ask the legislatures about the current session, as well as a chance for them to ask any questions

      KTVO spoke with State Representative Swaim about Governor Branstad's proposed reforms to Iowa's Mental Health System.

      "Although we recognize that there are some glitches in the system, most of my supervisors feel that it would be best to address it in the existing structure rather than going to a regional concept. If we do that, we could loose some of our local control and some of our ability to individualize the program for our specific residents," said Swaim

      Another hot topic discussed, the proposed increase in the state's gas tax. Legislatures on the panel acknowledge that roads in southeast Iowa do need repaired and upgraded, however, some acknowledge that now might now be the time to tax more when the economy is still in recovery mode.

      The organization will be sponsoring two more forums in the coming months.