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Brewer announces deal to end 30-year mental health suit

PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer said the state has reached a deal to finally end a lawsuit filed more than 30 years ago challenging the state's funding of mental health services.

The agreement announced Wednesday will increase housing, employment and other services for the seriously mentally ill in Maricopa County but will apply statewide.

The deal will not cost extra state funding beyond an extra $39 million a year pumped into the system two years ago as part of an interim deal to end the lawsuit. Brewer said the expansion of Medicaid in Arizona that began Jan. 1 will help pay for some of the additional costs.

Brewer called the settlement a landmark day that ends the ongoing cost of litigation and brings added services to some of Arizona's most vulnerable people.

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