I am a major party candidate for governor of Iowa. I am taking part in the DSM Register’s mental health forum this evening. Here is my biography for tonights forum which will be live-streamed at https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2017/11/29/watch-live-mental-health-forum/906490001/
Marco Battaglia was born, raised, and educated in Iowa. His father grew up on a farm in Minnesota. His mother immigrated to Iowa from Italy with her family when she was a child. Marco is a media major with a degree from the University of Northern Iowa. He has professional experience in radio, journalism, finance, mortgage, and insurance. Marco has one child, a son in elementary school and he lives on an acreage on the south-side of Des Moines where he has kept livestock. Marco’s platform entitled, Give Freedom a Chance, revolves around medical freedom, agricultural freedom, and economic freedom.
If elected governor, what are your priorities for your first 100 days in office?
Comprehensive tax reform that works for all Iowans while completely phasing out the income tax and reducing property taxes. A truly balanced budget that is going to reduce government waste while protecting the social safety net and public services that Iowans currently use. Addressing mental health services and medical freedom for all Iowans. Working to end the war on drugs, civil asset forfeiture, eminent domain abuse, and big ag subsidies. Working to put Iowa on the forefront on a return to sound economics and sound money.
What do you think is the single most important thing we can do to improve the mental health system in Iowa?
Rein in the war on drugs.
Do you supporting lifting the dollar cap on the mental health property tax levy? If not, what is your proposal for adequately funding adult mental health services in the state?
No. I believe that it was a mistake to tie mental health funding to the property tax levy. We also know that spending more and more money does not always solve a problem. If this was the answer we would have some of the greatest health-care and some of the greatest education on the planet. We need to work smarter. I call for a Iowa Mental Health Task Force with a goal of ensuring access to community based treatment for every Iowan. The goal would be that the communities would see the value in these centers and work towards funding them at the community level. I think that it is ok to spend more money on this public safety issue. If government can’t provide this service, why do we have it? I simply think that the money should be alloted for in the budget transparently and directly. There are many hidden costs that come along with our current state of mental health services. These show themselves as people being arrested, in the court system, and/or imprisoned while truly needing mental health care. Some needing such care also wind up in emergency rooms that are not situated to provide them with the necessary treatment to allow them to address or cure issues. These types of logjams also impacts and sometimes is deadly for people or the victims of their crimes, that are accurately going through such avenues.
Do you support opening new state mental health beds? Why or why not?
Yes. I think that mental health treatment is best given in the community that one resides. Local, community based, youth driven, answers to mental health treatment are working in our neighboring states of Minnesota and South Dakota, and they are working around the world.
What is the best way to increase the number of mental health professionals, especially prescribers, in our state?
I believe that we can use the existing training that we spend tax dollars for and refocus it on careers that we will need Iowans to do over the next century. Mental health professionals certainly rank high among them.
You can reach Marco Battaglia with questions, ideas, or concerns via his website and social media. www.marcoforgovernor.com