The task force set up to review the way the state handles mentally retarded adults is meeting for the second time today. The task force was created by the governor in response to the revelation that 21 mentally retarded men were living together in a run-down home in Attalisa while working at a turkey processing plant.
Department of Elder Affairs Director, John McCalley, says they got things organized in the first meeting and will get to work in this second meeting. He says they have until April 1st to deliberate and then make some recommendations to the governor for action before the legislative session is done.
While the Atalisa case led to the task force, McCalley says it will not be the main focus of their work. McCalley says they are mindful that there are civil and criminal investigations going on in the case, so they won’t be involved in those investigations, but will be using the case as an "opportunity to identify lessons learned and to make some positive recommendations for improvements."
There will be a public comment period during the meeting from noon until one p.m. McCalley says public input is important to the commission.
McCalley says you go to the department’s website and click on a button on the site and submit written recommendations. Or you can call: 1-800-532-3213 to give your comments. Today’s meeting is at the State Historical Building in Des Moines. The meeting begins at 10:30 a-m.