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Posted: Monday, September 24th, 2012 9:06 AM HST

Hawaii looks to restore mental health cuts

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Hawaii's health director says a special task force is looking to restore many of the cuts made to mental health services several years ago.

Hawaii News Now reports the task force and state health officials are looking to restore many of the 319 mental health and other health department positions that were lost during former Gov. Linda Lingle's administration. Mental health was one of the hardest hit by budget cuts in 2009.

Health Director Loretta Fuddy disclosed those plans during settlement talks over a lawsuit filed by three former mental health administrators who lost their jobs.

Their attorney Eric Seitz says they were given assurances the health department convened the task force.

Fuddy says the department will request additional funding to restore positions in the most critical areas.

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