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Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 11:56am

70 Million Helped Convince Feds

An Agreement Georgia reached with the U.S. Justice Department over better care for its mentally ill residents is partly credited due to more funding.

This year Governor Perdue pushed a $70 million dollar increase for the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health despite a shrinking state budget.

It was the only agency to get such a big boost. Perdue spokesman Bert Brantley says the plan paid off.

"Georgia put this plan together. DOJ saw that is was a good plan that is will result in more people getting better care and they agreed," Brantley says.

By next July Georgia will stop admitting people with developmental disabilities to state hospitals. The state will then begin to transfer 9,000 mentally ill residents into community settings, a process that will take 4 years and more funding.